News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: August 20th, 2015 5:43 PM
“Only you can prevent wildfires”, Smokey Bear’s familiar saying resonates this year with fire conditions throughout Oregon. Earlier this week Doug Decker, Oregon State Forester, appealed to Oregonians to engage in the effort along with firefighters statewide.
“At the moment we have limited extended attack resources,” explained Decker, “Oregonians need to be even more vigilant about preventing wildfires because the state can’t afford any more human-caused fires.”
For 2015 year to date there have been 551 human caused fires (burning 27,048 acres) compared to the ten year average of 433 fires (burning 3,313 acres).
A regulated use closure for lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in the Central Oregon District has been in place since June 19, 2015. The purpose of this closure is to limit human caused fires by restricting high risk activities, which could ignite wildfires. Included in the closure are smoking, open fire including campfires and warming fires, chainsaw use, mowing of dried grass, and many other activities that could inadvertently start a wildfire. The full restrictions in the regulated use closure can be found on-line at: oregon.gov/odf/centraloregon/Documents/Fire%20Season/2015_RegulatedUse_Closure.pdf
In addition to these restrictions remember that exploding targets, tracer ammunition, and sky lanterns are all prohibited during fire season.
Fall is a time when many head to the forest to hunt, recreate, and enjoy the forests of central Oregon. Bow and rifle hunting seasons are proceeding as originally scheduled. When target shooting, be especially careful to select an area with a rock or soil backdrop, clear of plants and foliage. A bullet that hits a rock can create a spark, and if it lands in dry vegetation it can ignite a wildfire. Parking vehicles in dry vegetation can also spark a fire if hot engine or exhaust parts comes in contact dry grass or shrubs. We encourage everyone to be extra cautious and vigilant with fire prevention, give this year’s unprecedented high fire prone conditions. Report any wildfire to 911 immediately.
ODF’s Central Oregon District is prepared to respond to wildfires with aggressive initial attack tactics in an effort to suppress the fire and limit impacts to our natural resources, while providing for safety for firefighters and the public. Everyone is responsible for fire prevention to help ensure human caused fires do not occur. Please contact a local ODF Office if you have questions regarding the regulated use closure or other activities on lands protected by ODF.