FIRE DANGER LEVEL CLIMBS TO EXTREME
A long period of temperatures hovering around 100 degrees has cooked southwest Oregon vegetation into a tinder-dry condition. In response, the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District is raising the fire danger level to "extreme" (red) at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 19.
The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will remain at Level 2 (two).
The primary difference between current fire prevention regulations and those taking effect tomorrow affects power-driven equipment, such as chain saws and mowers. Power-driven equipment will be required to shut down at 10:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. And users of other power-driven, spark-emitting equipment, such as wood splitters and generators, must also shut down at 10:00 a.m. Equipment use may resume after 8:00 p.m. In all cases, a fire watch of at least one hour should take place after the equipment is shut down.
Also, there is a fire prevention regulation being added prohibiting the use of sky lanterns on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Here are the details of the adjusted and new regulations taking effect today:
Chain saw use will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw use will be permitted at all other hours, if the following fire fighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch will be required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
The cutting, grinding and welding of metal will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. These activities will be permitted during other hours if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.
The mowing of dry or dead grass with power-driven equipment will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This will not apply to the mowing of green lawns, or the use of equipment for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
The operation of any other spark-emitting machinery not specifically mentioned above will be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The use of sky lanterns will be prohibited.
The following fire prevention regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect until the fire danger level drops significantly:
Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
Debris burning is prohibited.
Burn barrel use is prohibited.
Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
Use of fireworks is prohibited.
Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer's instructions
Use of exploding targets is prohibited.
Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
For further information about fire restrictions in other parts of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, contact the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office.
Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.com and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices.
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INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL RISES ON MONDAY
Increased fire danger on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District has made it necessary to increase the fire prevention measures on industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations. Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (two) takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 14, and includes the following restrictions:
The use of fire in any form will be prohibited
The use of power saws will be prohibited, except at loading sites, between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The use of cable yarders will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Blasting will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Welding or cutting of metal will be prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Additionally, commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.
These regulations affect all state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The regulated use zones affected by this proclamation include SW-1, SW-2, SW-3, SW-4, SK-3, RR-1, RR-2 and RR-3, and all forestland within one-eighth of a mile of these zones.
The public regulated use fire danger level remains at "high" (yellow). The following fire prevention regulations took effect June 16:
No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
No fireworks use on forestlands;
Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;
Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed in other locations;
Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads;
Chain saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, chain saw users must have an ax, a shovel and an 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the job site, and a fire watch is required for one hour after the saw is shut down;
Mowing of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
Cutting, grinding or welding metal are not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. These activities are allowed during other hours provided the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site;
Smoking while traveling is allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;
Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller's instructions for fire safe operation.
In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial, the following fire prevention restrictions also went into effect on June 16:
Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.
All travelers are required to carry one shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket.
Use of fireworks is prohibited.
Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, cooking fires and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, and charcoal fires for cooking and built in raised fire pans, are allowed on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:
Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152
Southwest Oregon District fire precaution level information is also posted on the World Wide Web at www.swofire.com.
EVFD & RRFD responded to a MVC_Motorcycle on the 13000 block of East Evans Creek Road at 6:15pm.
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