Fire Danger Increases to Extreme as of 7/15/24

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Molly Johnson, (541) 963-3168

ODF Northeast Oregon District Raises Public Use Restrictions and Additional Restrictions for Industrial Operations

La Grande, OR—Fire managers are increasing the public use restrictions to Extreme (red), as well as implementing additional restrictions for industrial forest operations on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in Northeast Oregon. The additional restrictions will be in effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2024. The measurements fire managers reference to estimate seasonal fire severity indicate Extreme fire conditions across the region.

These restrictions are intended to decrease potential fire starts resulting from logging and other forest operations. Tinder-dry forest fuels increase the chance of a spark or ember igniting a wildland fire. The Industrial Restrictions apply to private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Malheur, Grant, and Morrow Counties. “It’s crucial to adhere to these restrictions as fuel conditions are changing rapidly with the extreme heat. We are seeing critically dry conditions in our light and flashy fuels,” said Logan McCrae La Grande Unit Forester.

REQUIRED SHUT DOWN: Except at landings, the use of mechanized harvesters with a high-speed saw, chainsaws, tracked felling or skidding equipment, slash busting equipment and cable yarding systems are prohibited between the hours of 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time.

The Public Use Restrictions (Extreme Fire Danger) include the following fire prevention measures:

Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Propane fire pits are allowed if they are self-contained and 3 feet away from any flammable fuels with a maximum flame height of 2 feet. Non-industrial chainsaw use is prohibited. Electric Chainsaws are allowed all day. Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops. Electric string trimmers are allowed all day. Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions. Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required for any vehicle/UTV/ATV traveling on unimproved roadways where flammable vegetation exists on the roadway; shovel or other firefighting tool, minimum of 1-gallon of water, or 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. PROHIBITED

All open debris burning including the use of burn barrels. Use of fireworks. Use of exploding targets. Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal. Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base. Smoking while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area free of flammable vegetation. Use of sky lanterns throughout the year in Oregon.

For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:

La Grande Unit (541) 963-3168

Baker City Sub-Unit (541) 523-5831

Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881

Pendleton Unit (541) 276-3491

Current fire restrictions for forestlands in Northeast Oregon can be found at www.bmidc.org or by calling the Northeast Oregon Fire Prevention line: (541) 975-3027.

http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/ is your spot for current fire information in the Blue Mountains.

Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/oregondeptofforestryNEO/

Call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541)963-7171 or dial 9-1-1 to report a fire.

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