Fire Restrictions Increase

Fire Season
Due to rising fire danger, the Oregon Department of Forestry will increase restrictions on many activities on private and public forestland the agency protects in its West Oregon District starting Monday, July 17. The restrictions include Bureau of Land Management lands ODF protects. The restrictions will be in place in Lincoln County and portions of Benton, Polk and southern Yamhill counties.

The heightened restrictions include:
* No smoking while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads
* No open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed
* No use of non-industrial chainsaws unless waived by an ODF forester
* No cutting, grinding or welding of metal
* Use of fireworks is prohibited
* No mowing of dried grass with power-driven equipment between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops
* Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is restricted to improved roads only
* Motorists must have the following firefighting equipment in their vehicle while traveling, except on a state highway, county road or driveway:
o one shovel
o either one gallon of water or one operational 2.5 pound or larger ABC-rated fire extinguisher.

ODF’s West Oregon District declared fire season just two weeks ago on July 3.

“Grasses have grown very tall after an extraordinarily wet spring,” said ODF Community Wildfire Forester Pat MacMeekin. “As we move into warmer summer weather, it creates conditions that dry out the vegetation, increasing the chances for fire starts.”

MacMeekin said the added restrictions limit potential sources of forest fires, the majority of which are caused by humans. Forest operations, such as logging sites, are also affected, with requirements that operators have certain firefighting equipment on site and take precautionary measures against fire.

For further information on public use restrictions, please call the Oregon Department of Forestry weekdays during regular business hours or visit ODF’s Fire Restrictions and Closures web page at www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

Lincoln County — Toledo Office 541-336-2273