𝙁𝙄𝙍𝙀 𝘿𝘼𝙉𝙂𝙀𝙍 𝙇𝙀𝙑𝙀𝙇 𝘼𝙉𝘿 𝙄𝙁𝙋𝙇 𝘿𝙀𝘾𝙍𝙀𝘼𝙎𝙀: As of 12:01 a.m., the fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District has decreased to “high” (yellow) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) has decreased to Level 2 (two) on Friday, September 1, 2023. This affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.
The primary difference between the former regulations and the new decrease to high fire danger affects the public use of power-driven equipment, such as chainsaws, mowers, weed eaters, and more. The use of power-driven equipment, grinding, cutting of metal, and other spark-emitting equipment, such as wood splitters and generators, will now be allowed until 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. daily. Power-driven equipment use on green lawns is never prohibited.
Other fire prevention regulations which will remain in effect, include:
• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels
• No fireworks on or within 1/8th of a mile of ODF-protected land
• 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 may be used in other locations that are clear of dry vegetation
• Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain, are allowed only on improved roads; one shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling
• Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations
• Chainsaws may not be used between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chainsaws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use
• Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site
• The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops
• Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine-use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. during high fire danger. Use of any spark-emitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site
• Any 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/
Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level Two (IFPL II) – limited shutdown, which is specifically for industrial operations and is separate from all public fire restrictions, the following may operate after 8 p.m. and up until 1 p.m. daily:
• Power saws, except at loading sites
• Feller-bunchers with rotary head saws
• Cable yarding
• Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal
In addition, pursuant to ORS 477.665 and OAR 629-043-0030, the fire watch requirement is a minimum of two hours during breaks and at the end of the operation period.
For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season public restrictions, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:
• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152
Fire season information is also available online at our website, www.swofire.com.