The Oregon Dept. of Forestry issued this news release today.
Fire restrictions will be reduced on private and non-federal public forest and rangelands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District. The regulated closure which has been in effect since June 19, 2015, will be terminated as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Fire season will remain in effect for the Central Oregon District (COD) until significant widespread rain falls throughout the district.
The 2015 fire season has been long and difficult for firefighters and landowners across central Oregon. Landowners and the public have been vigilant for the last few months, following restrictions and using caution to prevent fires. COD District Forester, George Ponte, is especially thankful: “This made an incredible difference for firefighters throughout the summer. Focusing resources on lightning fires helps keep them small and provides better safety for firefighters and the public.”
ODF’s Central Oregon District remains in fire season, open burning, including debris burns, burn barrels, and logging slash is allowed by permit only. Campfires and warming fires are allowed; campfire safety guidelines can be found on the Oregon Department of Forestry website: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Documents/Fire/CampfireChecklistEnglish.pdf
Exploding targets, tracer ammunition, and sky lanterns are all prohibited during fire season. Non-industrial chainsaw use, such as cutting firewood for home use, is allowed. Restrictions for industrial chainsaw use still apply. Contact your local ODF office if you have questions regarding fire season restrictions.
Reducing fire restrictions is not an indication that fire danger is absent from the landscape. Over the last few days several human-caused fires have burned within the district, including a fire in the John Day Unit that burned nearly 150 acres before firefighters were able to contain it. Fire managers urge the public to continue to practice fire safety. Never leave a campfire or warming fire unattended and be certain it is DEAD OUT! before you leave. To fully extinguish a campfire, remember to douse the flames, stir, and douse again.
Remember, regulations differ between land managers, and landowners may enforce more stringent rules on their ownership. Contact your local U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management office for current restrictions on federal forest and rangeland.
Report any fires to 911 or the local dispatch center. Fire managers will continue to monitor fuel conditions and weather forecasts to determine fire danger and the status of fire season.