Fire season on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District will begin June 9, at 12:01am. Starting this Friday, the district’s fire danger level will be “Moderate”, and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one) in MH-4 and MH-1 (Hood River and Wasco counties).
Earlier this year, fire managers were optimistic regarding this year’s fire season due to the higher-than-normal snowpack. However, due to the decline in spring rain, rise in temperatures, and windy conditions, the fine fuels in the district have begun to dry significantly.
So far this year, the district has experienced 22 fires, of which half were escaped debris burns. Debris burning is the number one cause of human-caused fires. As we move into fire season, debris burning will be prohibited. ODF recommends covering your pile until the rainy fall when it’s safer to burn.
With that in mind, the Central Oregon District will begin implementing restrictions based on fire danger level. Moderate fire danger level restricts the following activities:
- No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
- No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land.
- Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
- No smoking while traveling through or working in any operation area.
In addition to the fire prevention requirements Under IFPL I (one), the following will go into effect:
- A Firewatch is required for a minimum of one hour during breaks and at the end of the operational period.
Additional fire restrictions or regulations may apply depending on the various fire risks throughout the fire season.
The Oregon Department of Forestry urges residents to not become complacent in wildfire prevention. The less human-caused fires we have, the less the district’s resources are strained. For tips on wildfire prevention, visit keeporegongreen.org.