Lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will be placed under a Regulated Use Closure beginning Friday July 1, 2016 at 12:01 a.m., according to an ODF press release.
The Regulated Use Closure applies to private, county, and state owned lands protected by the district in Deschutes, Grant, Hood River, Wasco, Wheeler, Crook, Jefferson, Morrow, Harney, Umatilla, Lake and Gilliam counties. The intent of the closure is to limit human caused wildfires. Recent high temperatures have dried wildland fuels and increased the danger of large fire growth. Human caused fires in the district are above the 10-year average for the district, which concerns fire managers as we enter the heart of fire season with dry fuels, warm temperatures and an increasing possibility of lightning caused fires.
The full Regulated Use Closure Proclamation can be found on the Central Oregon District website: www.ODFcentraloregon.com. The official Closure includes, but is not limited to the following activities:
• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. A map of designated areas is available on the district’s website under Fire Information. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
• Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one ax, one shovel, and one operational 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2?1/2 pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
• Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
• Use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.
Open fires are allowed by permit only, please contact your local ODF office for information. Exploding targets, tracer ammunition and sky lanterns are prohibited during fire season.
For information on restrictions on public lands contact your local US Forest Service ranger district office or Bureau of Land Management district office.