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Due to High Temperatures and Dry Fuels, Fire Danger Level Increasing to Moderate on Friday

JUNE 2, 2021

ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

 

JACKSON & JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. (June 2, 2021) – The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will increase to “moderate” (blue) on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Please be aware that this level change means that additional fire restrictions for the public will be in effect. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at Level I (one).

These regulations impact 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Public fire restrictions currently in effect, which will remain in effect, include:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • 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.

Beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m., the following public fire restrictions will take effect:

  • Open fires are prohibited, which includes campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed a designated campground. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed;
  • Chainsaws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws 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 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate 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 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;
  • Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. One shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.
  • Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. As noted above, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate 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;

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District’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 Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest.

WILDFIRE UPDATE

Excellent Progress Made on East Antelope Fire, As Crews Push Overnight to Reach 90% Containment

  • MAY 31, 2021
  • ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON

WHITE CITY, Ore. (May 31, 2021) – The East Antelope Fire, located on the 9600-block of East Antelope Road outside of White City, remains 100% lined and is now 90% mopped up. Firefighters were able to make this tremendous amount of progress during Sunday’s day shift and through the night; operations today will focus on reaching near, if not compete containment. It remains 49 acres in size, and is on private and BLM land.

An infrared drone flight was conducted Sunday evening, revealing multiple hotspots within the fire perimeter. Overnight, fire crews worked to extinguish those areas. Additional gridding will take place today, allowing firefighters to canvas the entire footprint of the fire for potential areas of concern. This evening, crews will remain on scene and do an additional infrared scan. This technology is extremely important to finalizing operations, as it detects heat in specific areas, even when indicators like smoke or embers aren’t immediately visible.

The E. Antelope Fire was initially reported on Saturday around 2:45 p.m. The road was closed to traffic with the exception of fire resources and residents; these closures have since been lifted. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management issued level two (Be Set) evacuations orders for the immediate area; they have since been downgraded to level 1 (Be Ready). Additional evacuation information is available through the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management.

ODF Southwest Oregon District would like to thank our partner agencies who have helped on the fire lines, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Jackson County Fire District 3 and Lake Creek Fire. We would also like to thank the veterans who have spent their Memorial Day weekend with us, once again protecting our community; your efforts on the fire and in your military service are much appreciated.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation. Additional information relating to the cause will be released when it is safe to do so without hampering the investigation.

Fire information for Jackson and Josephine counties is always available on Facebook, @ODFSouthwest.

 

Fire Season and Regulated Use Closures Go Into Effect May 12, 2021 on the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District

 

CENTRAL POINT, Ore.  – Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one). Lands affected by this declaration include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Since the beginning of March, the district has responded to more than 50 fires, totaling more than 100 acres; warm temperatures, windy conditions and a lack of spring rain are among the contributing factors that increased fire starts and growth. Fuels across the region are also much drier than normal, reflecting late June-like conditions in mid-May. For these reasons, fire season is being declared in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Beginning Wednesday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed in Jackson and Josephine counties. Over the past couple of weeks, our crews have responded to multiple debris burns that have escaped; landowners are encouraged to check their previously burned piles from this spring and confirm that they have been extinguished.

In low fire danger, the following activities are prohibited:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, and on private land with the landowner’s permission. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used as well.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • 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 IFPL I (one) – fire season requirements are in effect. In addition to the following:

  • A Firewatch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Season regulations, 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

Additional information about fire season is also available online on our website, www.swofire.com,  our Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest and our Twitter account, @swofire

 

 

Volunteer of the Month - May 2021 -  James

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Congratulations James!  Nice Work!

Volunteer of the Month - April 2021 -  Bryce

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Congratulations Bryce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A thank you to a pioneer of the fire district...

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As we continue to grow and change to fit the needs of our community. It's essential to acknowledge those who paved the way, and laid a solid foundation for us. So we extend our thanks to a guy who we know as "Bob the Webmaster."  In the early 2000s he took on the challenge of propelling us into the digital age by spending countless hours writing html code to produce the previous generation website that stood for 15-20 years as our digital information center. He is also largely responsible for the great photos that adorned it. At all hours of the day and night he would rise to a pager like the responders, show up to trainings, meetings, and hunt down the elusive members who were camera shy, and make sure these moments were captured so their stories could be told. 

Bob, you’ve made an immeasurable impact connecting the fire district and the community we cannot give enough thanks for your efforts over the last 20 years!