News Release from Oregon Dept. of Forestry – Posted on FlashAlert: July 29th, 2015 3:51 PM
Ongoing drought and warm weather have elevated wildfire danger this summer, and severe conditions forecast for the rest of this week could cause it to soar.
“The potential for fires to start and then grow rapidly will be high due to hot temperatures and low humidity,” said Greg Wagenblast, ODF’s South Cascade District forester.
Already in Lane and Linn counties, a number of timber companies have closed their lands to the public due to the risk of human-caused fires. Recreationists can learn which corporate forestlands in the district are open by checking the ODF website, www.oregon.gov/odf/FIRE/Closures/Corporate%20Closures.pdf
The district forester said it is important to remember that fuels in the wildland areas are primed to burn. The intensity of fire starts under the current conditions would require more firefighting resources. And once on site, firefighters will face limited sources of water in streams and reservoirs to extinguish the fires.
Jude McHugh, public affairs officer with the Willamette National Forest, said fire conditions are similar on U.S. Forest Service lands.
“Unfortunately, the Willamette National Forest this year as of July 21 has had 47 human-caused fires out of 103 total fires,” she said. The PIO advised visitors to the Willamette that “campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds with fire rings and need to be ‘Dead Out’ when leaving your campsite.”
Wagenblast likewise reminded recreationists visiting state-protected forestlands and parks to be particularly aware of the wildfire risk. As on the National Forest, campfires and other open fires on ODF’s protection jurisdiction are prohibited except in designated campgrounds. Motorized vehicles must be operated only on established roads. Smoking is restricted to inside closed vehicles or buildings. Other fire safety restrictions can be obtained by contacting the jurisdictional agency.