Prineville, Ore. - Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will be increasing restrictions to reduce human caused wildfires at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Private, state and municipally-owned lands protected by the Central Oregon District in the following counties are affected by these restrictions: Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam, Wheeler, Grant, Umatilla, Harney, Lake, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook and Morrow. The increased restrictions are being implemented based on current fuel conditions and potential of rapid fire spread, future weather forecasts of high temperatures and the possibility of lightning, and increased initial attack and extended attack activity locally and statewide.
Activities below are restricted by the Regulated Closure. Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx
- Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2.5-pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
- Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.
- Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
- Mowing dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture/harvest of agricultural crops.
- Cutting, grinding & welding of metal is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
- The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.
The use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season. As of Jan. 1, 2017, sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.
In addition to the Regulated Closure, industrial operations in Hood River and Wasco counties (MH-1 & MH-4) will also move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 on Aug. 7. Cable yarding systems and power drive machinery are restricted to reduce potential ignitions.
The specific time restrictions and activities can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.