SOUTH COAST — Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures for the public, as well as on industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations. The industrial fire restrictions are separate from the general public.
For the public, the fire danger level increased to “High” (yellow) on Wednesday, July 3, at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions impact 1.8 million acres of land protected by ODF Southwest Oregon District. Restrictions on the public use of chain saws, brush cutters and other power-driven or spark-emitting machinery will be the biggest change, with a mandatory shutdown time between 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
The following fire prevention restrictions that will go into effect on Wednesday, until further notice, are the following:
- No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
- No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestlands;
- Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;
- Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations;
- Open fires are prohibited, which includes campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed a designated campground. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed;
- Chain saws may not be used between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during high fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use;
- Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
- The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
- Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. One shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.
- Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. Use of any spark-emitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
- Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.
Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (two) takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. During IFPL II, the following industrial activities are prohibited between the hours of 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm:
- The use of power saws, except at loading sites.
- Feller-bunchers with rotary head saws.
- Cable Yarding
- Cutting, grinding, or welding of metal.
Additionally, commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.
These regulations affect all ODF Southwest Oregon District-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The regulated use zones affected by this proclamation include SW-1, SW-2, SW-3, SW-4, SK-3, RR-1, RR-2 and RR-3, and all forestland within one-eighth of a mile of these zones.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season public and industrial restrictions, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. 541-664-3328; Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. 541-474-3152.
Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.