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Use restrictions to ease on ODF-protected lands in Central Oregon, but fire season continues

Oregon Dept. of Forestry

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Regulated-Use Closure restrictions within the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will ease, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, but officials stress that fire season continues, as does the ban on open fires. 

There will be no change to the activities restricted, including all prohibiting open fires (campfires, warming fires, and cooking fires).  The primary change to the closure is restriction of activities such as mowing of dried grass and chainsaw use between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Details for all activities impacted by Fire Season and the Regulated-Use Closure are available at www.odfcentraloregon.com.

“We recognize that recent moisture and cooler temperatures has reduced fire danger across the District, however warmer than average temperatures are forecast for the next week or more with no expected precipitation,” explains Mike Shaw, District Forester. “We want to make sure that our restrictions are focused on the timing and activities we believe have a strong potential to ignite fires.”

The lack of precipitation, combined with drought conditions and extremely dry fuels, continues to keep the risk of wildfire ignition elevated, even as we transition to fall. 

Shorter days and increased humidity can give a false sense of reduced fire risk during these transition seasons.  Weather patterns in the fall can change rapidly with increased winds and warm afternoons after a cooler morning.  Following the Regulated-Use Closure restrictions limits potential fire ignitions from sparks or embers, ODF said. 

Fire season remains in effect, and debris burning, including burn barrels, are not allowed at this time. Additionally, many counties and local fire departments have burn bans in effect.

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.

For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

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