JOHN DAY – The Malheur National Forest will shut down all industrial operations, including firewood cutting, on the forest’s south zone due to high fire danger.

The south zone will go to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4, effective at noon Friday, Aug. 17, said Doug Jones, Emigrant Creek District ranger.

The zone includes all of the Emigrant Creek Ranger District.

“Due to high temperatures and low humidity, we have moved into very high fire danger,” said Jones. “We ask forest visitors to use caution when traveling on the forest and to report any fires they may see as well as violations of these restrictions.”

Under IFPL 4, all industrial operations are prohibited. Firewood cutting on the Emigrant Creek Ranger District is also prohibited.

Firewood cutting remains open on forest’s north zone, which includes the Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts.

Meanwhile, public-use restrictions remain in place for the entire forest. That means:

• Visitors are not allowed to have an open campfire or charcoal grill except in specific designated recreation sites - if you are in a designated recreation site, please make sure your fire is dead out prior to leaving.

• Liquid gas stoves and heaters are allowed.

• No fires are allowed in the Monument Rock or Strawberry Mountain Wildernesses.

• The use of internal combustion engines is prohibited.

• Generators may be operated under the following conditions:

(a) in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of flammable material, or

(b) when fully contained within a pickup truck bed that is devoid of all flammable material, or

(c) if factory installed in a recreational vehicle and the generator exhaust discharge is located in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

• Smoking is not permitted while traveling through timber, brush, or grass.

• Smoking is only permitted in an enclosed vehicle, building, or within specific developed recreation sites. Smoking is also allowed while stopped in an area that is at least three feet in diameter and is cleared of all flammable material.

• Travel restrictions under public use restrictions prohibit motor vehicles traveling off of designated Forest roads and trails.

The North Zone of the Forest which includes all of the Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts remain at an IFPL 3. Under IFPL 3 the following activities are prohibited:

• Cable Yarding - exception: gravity operated logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate between 8 PM and 1 PM when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers;

• Power Saws - exception: power saws may be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8 PM and 1 PM local time.

In addition the following activities are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 PM and 1 PM local time:

• Tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start;

• Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material; welding or cutting of metal;

• Any other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.

• Under IFPL 3 firewood cutting is allowed between the hours of 8 pm and 1 pm.

For more information about fire restrictions on the National Forests, you may call: Malheur National Forest, 541-575-3000; Umatilla National Forest, 541-278-3716; Ochoco National Forest, 541-416-6500 or Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, 541-523-6391.

To report a wildfire in the local area call 541-575-1321.

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