News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: July 31st, 2015 5:14 PM
High temperatures and low humidity have set the stage for any new wildfires to burn hot and spread fast. In response, the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s South Cascade and Western Lane districts today further tightened fire safety restrictions in the forest. The changes include:
– Campfires are now banned completely in the two districts. Previously they were allowed in designated campgrounds but no longer. Campstove that use bottled fuels are allowed.
– Mowing of dry, cured grasses is prohibited at any time.
– Some other fire safety rules already in place include: bans on smoking except in a closed vehicle or building, grinding and welding of metal, driving/riding motorized vehicles off of established roads.
Firefighting personnel and equipment have become scarce due to the Cable Crossing and Stouts fires in Douglas County, and local fire managers are concerned that any new fires in South Cascade or Western Lane would stretch resources thin.
“Given the rapid growth of those fires south of us and the resulting drawdown of resources, we decided to increase restrictions here,” said Phil Hunter, protection unit forester with the Western Lane District.
South Cascade District Forester Greg Wagenblast concurred, noting that all industrial activity in the forest has been shut down due to the extreme fire danger.
“These stepped-up rules for recreational activity aim for the same result: Reduce the chance of human-caused fire starts,” he said.