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Fire-Related News - 2008

 

Local & regional news releases, articles & Info

A chronological listing, with excerpts & links, for 2008


 

The 2008 Fire Season ends, as of 9:00 a.m. Friday, October 10th.

View ODF's October 10th, 2008, end-of-season bulletin  
(Printer-friendly, PDF format)

The text of ODF's end-of-season bulletin declaring fire season over is as follows:

October 10, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contacts: Greg Alexander, ODF Medford Unit Forester, (541) 621-4156
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

FIRE SEASON ENDS ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Fire season is over on lands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest District. It officially ended this morning at 9:00 a.m. and all public and industrial fire-prevention regulations are lifted. This declaration affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fire danger level is "low" (green).

Debris pile and barrel burning is now allowed on ODF-protected lands. However, open burning is regulated for air quality in all of Jackson County, and in the Rogue Basin Open Burn Control Area in Josephine County. Before starting a burn, call the open burning advisory number for your county:

-- Jackson County, 776-7007

-- Josephine County, 476-9663

Some cities do not allow open burning, and many rural fire protection districts require a burning permit. Call your local structural fire service provider before burning.

Fire season started June 16 and lasted 117 days. Two hundred and forty-six fires burned 1,770 acres this season. According to the ten-year averages, the district normally has 191 fires that burn 5,126 acres. The number of lightning-caused fires, 74, was higher than normal this year, but the number of acres burned by lightning, 1,390, was lower than normal. The number of human-caused fires, 172, was higher than normal but the number of acres burned, 380, was half of the ten-year average. District firefighters stopped 95 percent of the fires at 10 acres or smaller. The largest fire of the year was the 1,275-acre Doubleday Fire, which was located south of Butte Falls in Jackson County and was caused by lightning in mid-September.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire season regulations, contact the Southwest District's 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.oregon.gov.

###

Formatted copy attached (MS Word)


 

October 3, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

FIRE DANGER DROPS TO MODERATE ON FORESTLANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

The public use fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District is now "moderate" (blue) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) is 1 (one). Cooler weather and some rain have significantly reduced the wildfire threat on state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Open burning of debris, including the burning of debris a burn barrel, is prohibited.

However, restrictions are lifted on chain saw and mower use. Campfires may be used outside of designated campgrounds, but hunters and campers are cautioned that it is still important to extinguish campfires before leaving a campsite.

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.oregon.gov.

###

Read ODF's formatted copy (MS Word, PDF format)

 

 

Read ODF's Sept. 21st, 2008, morning news release about the Doubleday Fire.
(PDF format)

David Morman
Information Office Incident Management Team 2
Oregon Department of Forestry
541-826-2295

 

 

Read ODF's Sept. 20th, 2008, morning news release about the Doubleday Fire.
(PDF format)

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

September 19, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, (541) 664-3328
Shelly Hoffer, (541) 47106830

INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL RETURNS TO LEVEL II IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Cooler weather has enabled the Oregon Department of Forestry to lower the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to level II (two) today on forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. This affects industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations, on state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF's Southwest Oregon District.

Here is a summary of the restrictions now in effect:

-- The use of fire in any form is prohibited.

-- Power saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, power saws may be used at all hours at loading sites.

-- Cable yarders may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

-- No blasting is allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

-- No welding or cutting of metal is allowed 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.

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.oregon.gov.

###

Formatted copy [linked] (MS Word) (PDF format)

 

Read the ODF's Sept. 19th, 2008, morning news release about the Doubleday Fire.
(PDF format)

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

Sept. 17, 2008
9:30 p.m.

Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District

DOUBLEDAY FIRE BURNS 600 ACRES SOUTH OF BUTTE FALLS


The 600-acre Doubleday Fire burned on a northerly track through dense forest all afternoon and is now 2 miles south of Butte Falls. The fire is approximately 2.5 miles long and 1 mile wide. It was reported at 12:30 p.m. today, near the junction of Salt Creek and Doubleday roads, and is the sixth fire caused on ODF-protected lands by the lightning storm late Tuesday.

Four helicopters, three airtankers, six dozers and engines and crews from throughout Jackson County built fireline along the fire's flanks, and poured water and retardant onto flames. Crews tonight are continuing fireline construction and cooling the fire's edge.

Tomorrow, command of the Doubleday Fire is being turned over to an Oregon Department of Forestry incident management team.This will enable Southwest Oregon District engine crews to focus on mopping up the remaining five lightning-caused fires, and be available for initial attack should new fires break out.

The 30-acre Buck Point Fire is completely lined and mop up is in progress. The same is true on the 13-acre Wasson Canyon Fire, and the 7-acre C2 Fire (located six miles up Salt Creek Rd.). The 1.5-acre Round Mountain Fire and the 0.5-acre Obenchain Fire are both lined and nearly mopped up.

Also today, a 5-acre fire was controlled on Cove Road, just off Dead Indian Memorial Rd. Its cause is under investigation.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

Lightning Fires Update from ODF this morning:

Sept. 17, 2008
7:25 a.m.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District

TUESDAY EVENING LIGHTNING STARTS SEVERAL FIRES IN JACKSON COUNTY

A thunderstorm moved across north-central Jackson County late Tuesday and started several fires on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. The largest is the Buck Point Fire, located between Hwy 140 and Willow Lake, and is estimated to be 15 acres in size. The fire is 50 percent lined and is actively burning in heavy timber. Dangerous snags in the area have kept firefighters from working in some portions of the burned area. A dozer and several engines worked through the night building fire lines and cooling hot spots on the fire's edge. A helicopter is heading to the scene as soon as there is enough daylight to fly.

A second fire burning in Wasson Canyon is approximately 5 acres in size, a fire on Round Mtn is 1.5 acres, one in the Salt Creek area is 1 acre, and one burning near Obenchain Rd is 0.5 acre. All fires are staffed.

A reconnaissance flight will patrol the district this morning and search for other smokes.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd
Central Point, OR 97502
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-4156
Fax: (541) 776-6184
bballou@odf.state.or.us
http://swofire.oregon.gov

 

 

September 12, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, ODF, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF, (541) 474-3152

INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL GOES UP TOMORROW

Dry weather in southwest Oregon forestlands is driving the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) up a notch tomorrow. Restrictions under IFPL III (three) take effect at 1:00 a.m. Saturday, and apply to state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The public-use fire danger level remains at "high" (yellow).

Under IFPL III:

-- Cable yarding is not allowed. However, gravity operated-logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. These systems must have all blocks and moving lines suspended 10 feet above the ground, except the line between the carriage and the chokers.

-- Power saw use is not allowed. However, power saws may be used until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. at loading sites and on tractor or skidder operations.

-- In addition, the following equipment and operations must shut down between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.:

-- Tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start.

-- Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material

-- Blasting

-- Welding or cutting of metal

-- Any spark-emitting not specifically mentioned above

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.oregon.gov.

###

View ODF's September 12th, 2008, IFPL Level III Bulletin Update (PDF format)

 

 

September 8, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST
MEDFORD INTERAGENCY OFFICE
3040 Biddle Road
Medford, OR 97504

Contacts: Brian Ballou, ODF fire prevention specialist, (541) 665-0662
Patty Burel, USFS Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, (541) 941-4268

 

FIRE DANGER LEVEL DROPS ON FORESTLANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

The public use fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District drops to "high" (yellow) on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) remains at Level II (two).

The fire prevention level is also reduced in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, jointly protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands has been "extreme" since Aug. 5. Fire precaution levels assigned by the Southwest Oregon District, located in Medford, affect state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The district has unit offices in Medford and Grants Pass.

"With shorter days and cooler nights, we can now loosen the restrictions on power equipment use," said ODF District Forester Dan Thorpe. "But we ask the public to continue to be very careful because fire season is a long way from being over."

 

Here is a summary of public use restrictions in effect starting tomorrow:

-- All open burning of debris is prohibited. This includes burn barrels.

-- Fireworks are prohibited in forestland areas.

-- Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. This restriction includes charcoal-fired barbecues; however, stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed in other locations.

-- Vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are not allowed on unimproved roads.

-- Smoking is allowed only in a vehicle and only while on an improved road.

The following activities are disallowed between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.:

-- Chain saw use. Users must have an axe, shovel and fire extinguisher on-site, and provide a one-hour fire watch after using the saw.

-- Mowing dry grass (except for agricultural purposes, such as cutting hay). This restriction does not apply to green lawns.

-- Cutting, grinding or welding metal. A water supply must be present at the work site and work may proceed only in a cleared area.

 

Fire restrictions are also reduced in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River. The Oregon Department of Forestry protects the section between Grave Creek and Marial, and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest protects the section between Marial and Watson Creek. These restrictions take effect Tuesday:

-- Smoking is prohibited except in boats on the water, and on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the river's high-water mark.
-- Open fires are prohibited, including camp fires, cooking fires and warming fires.
-- Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, and charcoal briquette fires for cooking and built in raised fire pans, are allowed on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the high-water mark. Ashes must be carried out.
-- Travelers must carry a shovel and bucket (one-gallon size).
-- Fireworks are prohibited.

Fire restrictions on the Rogue River may change so please check with the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735 or your local Forest Service office.

 

"We would like to thank the public for exercising caution this summer and continuing to prevent human-caused wildfires on the Forest," said M. J. Harvie, Aviation & Fire Staff Officer on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF.

As fall hunting season begins, hunters are reminded of the dry conditions on the Forest and are encouraged to use extreme caution with campfires.

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

ODF Southwest Oregon District fire precaution level information is also posted on the World Wide Web at www.swofire.oregon.gov <http://www.swofire.oregon.gov/> .

Fire danger level information for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is available online at www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou/fire/index.shtml <http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou/fire/index.shtml> .

###

View ODF's September 8th, 2008, bulletin ("Fire Danger Level drops...") (PDF format)

 

 

September 2, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL DROPS TO LEVEL II ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) dropped to level II (two) today on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District. This affects industrial operations, such as logging sites and other commercial operations, on state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Here is a summary of the restrictions now in effect:

-- The use of fire in any form is prohibited.

-- Power saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, power saws may be used at all hours at loading sites.

-- Cable yarders may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

-- No blasting is allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

-- No welding or cutting of metal is allowed 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.

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.oregon.gov.

###

 

 

August 20, 2008
10:30 a.m.

ODF Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd
Central Point, OR

CLARK CREEK FIRE BURNS 20 ACRES EAST OF SUNNY VALLEY

Firefighters are working to contain the 20-acre Clark Creek Fire located 7 miles east of Sunny Valley in Josephine County. Several engines from ODF's Grants Pass Unit are on-scene, along with two 20-person crews and two helicopters. Retardant has been dropped on the fire. Other helicopters will be used to combat the fire if necessary.

The fire was discovered at 7:00 a.m. today and was estimated at 10 acres in size at that time. The primary fuels are old slash and timber.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

August 19, 2008
9:00 a.m.

ODF Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd
Central Point, OR

MOST LIGHTNING-CAUSED FIRES CONTAINED, MOPPED UP

Most of the lightning-caused fires on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties are contained and mopped up. Eleven of the fires are in Josephine County and 27 are in Jackson County. The largest fire in Josephine County is the 3-acre Bald Ridge Fire, located approximately 3 miles northeast of Marial. The biggest fire in Jackson County is the 8.5-acre Joe Dyer Fire, located 2 miles east of Shady Cove.

Seven of the ODF Southwest Oregon District's fires were discovered on Monday. All of these fires are smaller than a quarter acre each, and are in the mop-up stage.

Half of the fires from the thunderstorms that struck the region over the past two days took place on privately owned lands, and the rest on Bureau of Land Management or other government-managed lands.

A reconnaissance flight is in the air this morning, and engine crews are patrolling the district.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

August 18, 2008
7:45 a.m.

ODF Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd
Central Point, OR

ODF SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT LIGHTNING BUST UPDATE

Firefighters in the Southwest Oregon District chased lightning-caused fires all day Sunday in Jackson and Josephine counties. Eight fires were found in the Grants Pass Unit's protection area, and 14 were spotted in the Medford Unit. The fires burned approximately 25 acres, and individually ranged in size from 1/100th of an acre to 8.5 acres. The largest fire in the Grants Pass Unit was the Birdseye Creek Fire south of Rogue River that burned 4 acres. The 8.5-acre Joe Dyer Fire was the biggest one found in the Medford Unit.

As of this morning, all of the identified fires are staffed. In general, the fires in the Medford Unit are scattered from the Lake Creek area, about 10 miles east of White City; between Shady Cove and Butte Falls; and 3-5 miles north of Lost Creek Lake in the Elk Creek area. The Grants Pass Unit's fires are located east of Marial and north of the Rogue River, north and east of Merlin, northwest of Selma and south of Rogue River.

Today, reconnaissance flights begin at 8:00 a.m. Crews are in the field -- quite a few have been out all night -- and helicopters are are standby. Air tankers are available if needed.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

The following ODF bulletin announcing increased public activity closures was released on Tuesday, August 12th:

August 12, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152


HOT WEATHER AHEAD PROMPTS CLOSURE OF MOWING, CHAIN SAW USE IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Temperatures over 100 will hit southwest Oregon this week, prompting the Oregon Department of Forestry to shut down public use of chain saws, mowers in dry grass, and other power-driven equipment on Wednesday. Loggers and other forestland industrial operators will have fewer operating hours for certain types of equipment as the Industrial Fire Precaution Level rises to III (three).

The public-use fire danger level remains at "extreme" (red).

The following restrictions become effective 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 13, and affect state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties:

* Chain saw use will be prohibited.

* Mowing of dry grass, except for agricultural purposes such as cutting hay, will be prohibited.
* Cutting, grinding or welding metal will be prohibited.

The following public use restrictions remain in effect:

* All open burning of debris is prohibited. This includes burn barrels.
* Fireworks are prohibited, except in cleared areas such as green lawns and driveways.
* Camp fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. This restriction includes charcoal-fired barbecues; however, stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
* Vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are not allowed on unimproved roads.
* Smoking is allowed only in a vehicle and only while on an improved road.
* Any electric fence controller in use shall contain a listing from a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be operated in compliance with manufacturer instruction for firesafe operation.

Fire restrictions in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River are unchanged.

Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level III, the following restrictions will apply as of Wednesday:

* Cable yarding will not be allowed. However, gravity operated-logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. These systems must have all blocks and moving lines suspended 10 feet above the ground, except the line between the carriage and the chokers.

* Power saw use will not be allowed. However, power saws may be used until 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m. at loading sites and on tractor or skidder operations.

* In addition, the following equipment and operations must shut down between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.:

* Tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start.

* Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material.

* Blasting

* Welding or cutting of metal

* Any spark-emitting not specifically mentioned above.


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.oregon.gov.

 

 

 

FIRE DANGER LEVEL RISES TO EXTREME, as of midnight (12:01 AM) Tuesday, August 5th, 2008, according to the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.

ODF's August 4th bulletin is also reproduced here in full, as follows:

August 4, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, ODF, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF, (541) 474-3152
Patty Burel, USFS, (541) 618-2113

FIRE DANGER CLIMBS TO EXTREME IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

The public use fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District climbs to "extreme" (red) at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, August 5. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) remains at Level II.

Fire precaution levels assigned by the Southwest Oregon District, located in Medford, affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The district has unit offices in Medford and Grants Pass.

The following public use restriction changes will be in effect starting tomorrow:

-- Chain saw use will be disallowed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, users must have an ax, shovel and fire extinguisher on-site, and provide a one-hour fire watch after using the saw.

-- Mowing dry grass will be disallowed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (except for agricultural purposes, such as cutting hay).

-- Cutting, grinding or welding metal will be disallowed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, a water supply must be present at the work site and work may proceed only in a cleared area.

-- Any electric fence controller in use shall contain a listing from a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and be operated in compliance with manufacturer instruction for firesafe operation.


The following public use restrictions remain in effect:

-- All open burning of debris is prohibited. This includes burn barrels.

-- Fireworks are prohibited, except in cleared areas such as green lawns and driveways.

-- Camp fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. This restriction includes charcoal-fired barbecues; however, stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

-- Vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are not allowed on unimproved roads.

-- Smoking is allowed only in a vehicle and only while on an improved road.

Fire restrictions will also change in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River. The Oregon Department of Forestry protects the section between Grave Creek and Marial, and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest protects the section between Marial and Watson Creek. These restrictions take effect tomorrow:

-- Smoking will be prohibited except in boats on the water, and on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the river's high-water mark.
-- Open fires will be prohibited, including camp fires, charcoal briquette fires, cooking fires and warming fires. However, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the high-water mark. Ashes must be carried out.
-- Travelers must carry a shovel and bucket (one-gallon size).
-- Fireworks will be prohibited.

Fire restrictions on the Rogue River may change so please check with the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735 or your local Forest Service office.

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.oregon.gov.

###

 

 

July 20, 2008 9:30 a.m.

ODF FIRE UPDATE
Southwest Oregon District
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point

Contact: Brian Ballou, ODF fire prevention specialist, (541) 621-4156

KERBY MAINLINE FIRE HELD AT 69 ACRES

Fire crews worked through the night to improve fireline and mop up hot spots on the 69-acre Kerby Mainline Fire. The fire, reported at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, was fought by firefighters and equipment from throughout southwestern Oregon, and burned on private and Bureau of Land Management lands.

The fire started near the landfill on Kerby Mainline Rd., northeast of the town of Kerby in Josephine County. The fire burn aggressively for several hours through brush, timber and old logging slash. Three air tankers and three helicopters hit the fire's flanks with retardant and water while three dozers dug fireline. Firefighters dug fireline where the dozers could not operate.

The fire has a fireline around its perimeter but is not yet contained. Crews are working on the fire today and are continuing to extinguish flames. Helicopters will be used as needed to scout the area for spotfires, and to drop buckets of water on hot spots.

The public is asked to avoid roads in the fire area due to heavy fire-related vehicle traffic.

Engines and firefighters from several agencies and private companies joined in the fire-fighting effort. The Oregon Department of Forestry's Medford and Grants Pass units dispatched numerous engines and many firefighters, two dozers and two helicopters. A helicopter and firefighters were brought in from the Douglas Forest Protective Association. Engines, water tenders and firefighters were called in from Illinois Valley Fire District, Rural/Metro Fire Department, Rogue River Fire District and the US Forest Service. Additional support was provided by Josephine County Emergency Management, the Josephine County Sheriff and Jackson County Community Justice.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

IFPL Level II:  ODF's July 11, 2008, Bulletin is reproduced here in full:

July 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Greg Alexander, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL RISES ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

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 prohibits the following activities:

* The use of fire in any form

* The use of power saws, except at loading sites, between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

* The use of cable yarders between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

* Blasting between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

* Welding or cutting of metal 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.

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.oregon.gov.

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On Saturday, July 5th, 2008, the ODF issued a public bulletin announcing the rise of the fire danger level to HIGH (yellow) with additional regulations and public activity restrictions, to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 7th. This bulletin is reproduced in full here, as follows:

[View or print ODF's July 5th, 2008, bulletin (PDF format)]


July 5, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Brian Ballou, Oregon Department of Forestry, (541) 621-4156
Patty Burel, USFS Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, (541) 941-4268

FIRE DANGER RISES TO HIGH ON FORESTLANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

The public use fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry's Southwest Oregon District climbs to "high" (yellow) at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 7. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) remains at Level I.

Fire prevention advisories will also change in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, jointly protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands has been "moderate" since fire season was declared on June 16. Fire precaution levels assigned by the Southwest Oregon District, located in Medford, affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties. The district has unit offices in Medford and Grants Pass.

Here is a summary of public use restrictions that will be in effect starting Monday:

-- All open burning of debris will be prohibited. This includes burn barrels.
-- Fireworks will be prohibited, except in cleared areas such as green lawns and driveways.
-- Campfires will be allowed only in designated campgrounds. This restriction includes charcoal-fired barbecues; however, stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed.
-- Vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will not be allowed on unimproved roads.
-- Smoking will be allowed only in a vehicle and only while on an improved road.
-- The following activities will be disallowed between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.:
-- Chain saw use. During other hours, users must have an axe, shovel and fire extinguisher on-site, and provide a one-hour fire watch after using the saw.
-- Mowing dry grass (except for agricultural purposes, such as cutting hay).
-- Cutting, grinding or welding metal. During other hours, a water supply must be present at the work site and work may proceed only in a cleared area.

Fire restrictions will also change in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River. The Oregon Department of Forestry protects the section between Grave Creek and Marial, and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest protects the section between Marial and Watson Creek. These restrictions take effect Monday:

-- Smoking will be prohibited except in boats on the water, and on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the river's high-water mark.
-- Open fires will be prohibited, including camp fires, cooking fires and warming fires.
-- Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, and charcoal briquette fires for cooking and built in raised fire pans, will be allowed on naturally vegetation-free gravel bars and sand bars below the high-water mark. Ashes must be carried out.
-- Travelers must carry a shovel and bucket (one-gallon size).
-- Fireworks will be prohibited.

Fire restrictions on the Rogue River may change so please check with the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735 or your local Forest Service office.

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.oregon.gov.

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ODF SWO District Fire Update 3 - Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:19 PM

ODF Medford Unit crews responded to two lightning-caused fires and one other fire today. A 1-acre fire lightning-caused fire burned three miles northwest of Jacksonville, and the walk-in crew was assisted by a helicopter with a bucket. The second lightning-caused fire was five miles northwest of Butte Falls, and it burned 0.2 acre. The third fire (possibly an escaped campfire) was four miles northwest of Jacksonville in the Kane Creek area, and it burned 0.1 acre.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., an ODF engine was dispatched to the Galls Creek area to hunt down a reported smoke.

ODF Grants Pass Unit crews tracked down eight lightning-caused fires. The largest were the 5-acre Draper Valley Fire, the 5-acre Sucker Creek Fire and the 3.75-acre Tarter Gulch #2 Fire. The rest were 0.01 to 0.1 acre in size. All fires in the Grants Pass Unit were lined and secured by 7:00 p.m. A few smokes remain on the Sucker Creek Fire, and crews will polish those off on Sunday.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

ODF SWO District Fire Update 2 - Saturday, June 21, 2008 12:55 PM

In the Grants Pass Unit: The unit has a total of eight fires from the recent thunderstorms. Two of the fires are active and are 3-5 acres in size. The rest of the fires are either mopped up or are being mopped.

In the Medford Unit: The fire in the Jacksonville Reservoir area is approx. 1 acre, and a helicopter has made some bucket drops on it. The only other fire on the unit is in the Obenchain Rd area, and it is 0.2 acre.

Recon by helicopter is continuing throughout the district.

More thunderstorm activity is expected throughout the afternoon.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 

 

ODF SWO District Fire Update - Saturday, June 21, 2008 10:48 AM

A thunderstorm late Friday and early today scattered lightning strikes in Jackson and Josephine counties.

In Josephine County, approximately 25 lightning strikes resulted in eight fires on ODF-protected lands, or in mutual-aid areas. Two of the fires are estimated at 4 acres in size; the rest are 0.1 acre in size or smaller.

The fires are broadly scattered east, west and north of Cave Junction.

In Jackson County, approximately 16 lightning strikes caused two fires on ODF-protected lands. A fire in the Obenchain Rd area is estimated to be 0.2 acre; firefighters are hiking into a second fire in the Jacksonville Reservoir area.

A reconnaissance helicopter is scouting the areas where lightning strikes were detected.

All ODF seasonal firefighters and forest officers from ODF's Grants Pass and Medford units have been called to duty.

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
bballou@odf.state.or.us

 


The ODF issued the following public bulletin on 6/13/08 announcing the start of the 2008 Fire Season on June 16th, with regulations and public activity restrictions, republished here in full:

[View/print this bulletin in PDF format]

June 13, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
5286 Table Rock RD
Central Point, OR 97502

Contacts: Greg Alexander, ODF Medford Unit Forester, (541) 621-4156
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

FIRE SEASON BEGINS MONDAY ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Fire season on forestlands protected by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Southwest District begins at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 16. The fire danger level will be "moderate" (blue), and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be 1 (one). This declaration affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Fire season is declared by the state forester when weather conditions and dry vegetation make fires difficult to control.

Here is a summary of fire season restrictions that go into effect on Monday:

-- Debris burning will be prohibited, except in burn barrels for which a permit has been issued. To obtain a permit, contact the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's unit offices in Medford or Grants Pass. Also, local fire districts may require an additional permit.

-- The use of fireworks on forestlands will be prohibited.

In the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial:

--Camp fires must be in fire pans or on fire blankets that are placed on sand or gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas which are naturally free of flammable vegetation.

--Smoking will be permitted on sand and gravel bars between the river and the high water mark, and only in areas naturally free of flammable vegetation, or in boats and rafts while on the river.

-- Fireworks will be prohibited.

-- Travelers must carry a shovel and a bucket with at a least a one-gallon capacity.


Commercial operations, such as timber harvesting, conducted on forestlands will be required to have fire suppression equipment on the job site at all times, and a watchman must be provided.

In 2007, the district declared fire season on June 11 and ended it on Oct. 1.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire season regulations, contact the Southwest District's 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.oregon.gov.

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Fire-related news and summaries for previous years are available from

our Fire Season News Archives page.