Malheur National Forest’s north zone moved to a moderate fire rating Thursday.

While the fire danger rating has gone to moderate, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level is still at a 1, according to a press release. When the fire danger is “moderate” it means that fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fire starts is usually pretty low. If a fire does start in an open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days. Most wood fires will spread slowly to moderately. Average fire intensity will be moderate except in heavy concentrations of fuel, which may burn hot. Fires are still not likely to become serious and are often easier to control.

Campfires are allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread, at a minimum clear of all flammable material within a radius of 3 feet from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible. Campfires must be attended at all times and completely extinguished prior to leaving.

Persons with campfires are required to have a tool that can serve as a shovel and 1 gallon of water in their possession, except in specified developed recreation sites where campground host is present. The intent of this requirement is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.

Wood cutting is still permitted all day with a one-hour fire watch after cutting.

For more information, visit fs.usda.gov/malheur or call 541-575-3000.

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