PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Prineville-Sisters Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will enter fire season at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 13, officials said Thursday.
Lands protected by ODF in Jefferson, Crook, and Deschutes counties are affected by this declaration, including private and non-federal public lands. ODF-protected lands in The Dalles and John Day units are not included at this time.
“We are monitoring conditions closely across the other units of the Central Oregon District so we can implement fire season and other restrictions to prevent wildfires and protect natural resources,” explains Gordon Foster, Assistant District Forester.
Implementation of fire season is determined by monitoring fuel conditions, fire behavior, long term weather forecasts, and fire activity in the area. Underlying long term drought conditions in central Oregon have not been mitigated by recent rainstorms. Light fuels quickly dry in windy and warm conditions, increasing the rapid spread of fire.
Activities prohibited during fire season include smoking in forest operation areas, blasting without a permit, use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition. Backyard debris burning, including burn barrels are prohibited. In addition to these restrictions, forest operations are required to follow the following prevention guidelines:
- firefighting tools and fire extinguishers on-site
- power saws must be equipped with a spark arrester and additional restrictions must be followed during use
- vehicles used in the operation must have a firefighting tool and fire extinguisher
- fire truck/water wagon on site
- fire watch
A full description of all fire season restrictions is available at www.oregon.gov/odf. These guidelines are intended to reduce the risk of fire ignition, quickly detect fires and allow for a swift suppression response.
Counties and local fire departments may have additional restrictions in place. Check restrictions in your local area to help prevent wildfires.
For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.