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Central Oregon

ODF reminder: Fire season still in effect on state-protected lands in C.O.

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PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fire season in the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District remains in effect across private ownership, as well as state and municipal lands, the agency reminded Thursday. 

Cooler recent temperatures may give a false sense that fire danger is no longer present.  However, vegetation conditions are well above average across the district, and in many places are near where they were in August, ODF said. 

This assessment is based on the ability of fuels to burn, fuel moisture content, the heat potential of the fire front and the rate of spread.  Fire managers are regularly reviewing the conditions and evaluating the need for restrictions.

“Cooler days and increased humidity recovery at night are moving us toward reducing some of our prevention measures, but what we really need to see is significant widespread precipitation across the district before we can make that decision,” says Rob Pentzer, assistant district forester for the Central Oregon District.

Open burning without a permit is prohibited on ODF protected lands as part of the fire season declaration.  Additional county or local fire department restrictions may also be in effect.  Upcoming rain in the forecast will not eliminate the risk associated with debris burning with the current fuel conditions, and wind associated with the storm may increase the risk of fire escaping.

Regulated-Use Closure restrictions are in place to reduce human caused fires on the landscape. Campfires and warming fires, including charcoal fires are prohibited by the Regulated-Use Closure. 

Additionally, a shovel and fire extinguisher (or a gallon of water) is required while traveling on forest roads. Chainsaw use and mowing of dried grass is prohibited between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Current restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  Failure to follow current restrictions may result in a citation or liability for fire suppression work. Wildfires cause damage to Oregon’s natural resources, including affecting water, soil and air quality and impact local communities.  These restrictions affect Central Oregon District protected lands in Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco, and Wheeler counties.

ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians.  Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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