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Fire-Related News - 2011

Local & regional news releases, articles & ODF bulletins

A chronological listing, with excerpts & links, for 2011

 

NOTE:  Not all regional fire news is included here.  For more, see:

The Oregon Department of Forestry website at: http://www.swofire.oregon.gov/ and their Wildfires page at: http://www.swofire.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/fire.shtml, which has links at the top to "Fire Stats, Info and Updates," fires chronologies, and more.

The CAL-FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) website at: http://www.fire.ca.gov/, which has links to a listing of fire incidents.

 


 

2011 FIRE SEASON SUMMARY:  

The ODF declared July 1st to be the official start date of the 2011 fire season. The fire danger level was then “Moderate” (blue) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) was 1 (one). The fire danger level rose to High (yellow) on Monday, August 1st. (The IFPL-Industrial Fire Precaution Level remained at Level 1 (one) at that time.) A 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM curfew went into effect for numerous regulated public activities, with other restrictions remaining in effect "24/7."

On Wed. August 24th, due to increased drying in the forestlands, the IFPL-Industrial Fire Protection Level was increased to Level 2 (two) with related restrictions (see below). On Friday, August 26th, the public posted Fire Danger Level officially increased to EXTREME (RED), due to numerous regional spot fires sparked by lightning and general increased dryness in the forestlands. The curfew hours for publicly regulated activities have increased, beginning earlier, and are now between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

On Mon. Sept. 5th, the ODF declared a 24-hour shut-down of all power equipment including equipment use that was previously allowed before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m., beginning Tuesday Sept. 6th. The IFPL was also increased to Level 3 beginning Tues. Sept. 6th, with increased restrictions.

On Fri. Sept. 23rd, the ODF announced that the fire danger level will drop back down to "HIGH" on Sunday, Sept. 25th, at 1:00 AM. Some restrictions will ease up starting on Sunday Sept. 25th for both publicly regulated activities and for Industrial activities, including a public-use curfew on specified activities from 1 PM to 8 PM.

On Mon. October 3rd, due to cooler weather and some rainfall, the ODF lowered the public fire danger level to "Moderate" (blue) and the IFPL (Industrial level) to 1 (One). Most public regulated activity restrictions were also lifted, excepting the ban on all public burning and campfires outside of designated campgrounds.

At 12 Noon on Wed. October 5th, following significant rain, the ODF declared the end of the 2011 fire season. The fire danger level is “low” (green) and all public regulated use and industrial fire precaution level restrictions have been lifted; all open burning is again allowed. The 2011 fire season lasted just over three months.

All ODF (Southwest Oregon district) fire danger declarations affect state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of Wednesday, October 5th, 2011, declaring the end of the 2011 fire season:

 

October 5, 2011
11:00 a.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

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

Contact: Ashley Du Brey, ODF public information officer, (541) 664-3328
Greg Alexander, ODF Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

 

FIRE SEASON ENDS TODAY ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

Fire season ends at noon today, Oct. 5, on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District. The season began July 1.

ODF’s Southwest Oregon District protects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fire danger level is “low” (green) and all public regulated use and industrial fire precaution level restrictions will be removed by noon today.

Woody debris pile and barrel burning are now allowed on ODF-protected lands. However, open burning is regulated for air quality. Before lighting your pile or burn barrel, call the open burning advisory number for your county:

• Jackson County, 776-7007

• Josephine County, 476-WOOD

Also, some cities do not allow open burning, and many rural fire protection districts require a burning permit. Contact your local structural fire service provider to obtain any necessary permits before burning.

 

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328

• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152

###

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

 

See ODF's Bulletin of Wed. October 5th, 2011, declaring the end of the 2011 fire season (PDF format).

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of Monday, October 3rd, 2011, announcing the lowering of the public fire danger to Moderate (blue) and the IFPL (Industrial level) to One:

 

Oct. 3, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

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

Contact: Tyler McCarty, ODF Medford Unit, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit, (541) 474-3152

COOL WEATHER DROPS FIRE DANGER LEVEL

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties drops to “moderate” (blue) today, and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level is 1 (one). Significantly cooler weather and some rainfall have allowed ODF to make these changes.

Here is a summary of the public regulated use restrictions now in effect:

• No open burning of debris, whether in piles or in burn barrels, is allowed;

• Campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed in other locations.

 

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

• 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;

• A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket must be carried by all travelers;

• Fireworks are prohibited;

• Campfires and charcoal fires for cooking are allowed only when built in raised fire pans or on fire blankets, and only on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks which are naturally free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.

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 at (541) 479-3735, or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office.

 

Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1 (one), commercial operations, such as timber harvesting conducted on forestlands, are required to have fire suppression equipment on the job site at all times. A watchman must also be provided.

 

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328

• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152

###

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

 

See ODF's Bulletin of Mon. October 3rd, 2011, announcing the lowering of the public fire danger to Moderate (blue) and the IFPL (Industrial level) to One. (PDF format).

 

 


 

 

ODF's September 23rd, 2011, Bulletin announcing the decrease of the fire danger level to HIGH, with lessened restrictions:

 

Sept. 23, 2011

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 Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152

FIRE DANGER DROPS TO HIGH ON SUNDAY

-- Restrictions in Rogue River Wild and Scenic Area change on Tuesday --


The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will decrease starting Sunday, Sept. 25. The fire danger level will be lowered to “high” (yellow) at 1:00 a.m. Sunday
, and affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 2 (two).

Fire prevention regulations in the ODF-protected portion of the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River will change on Tuesday, Sept. 27.


Here is a summary of the public regulated use restrictions that take effect on Sunday:

• No open burning of debris, whether in piles and or in burn barrels, will be allowed;

• No fireworks may be used on forestlands;

• Campfires will be allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed in other locations;

• Motorized vehicles will be 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 will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or when equipment is used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• Cutting, grinding or welding metal will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. These activities will be 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 will be allowed only in 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 will go into effect on Tuesday:

• Smoking will be 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;
• A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket must be carried by all travelers;
• Fireworks will be prohibited;
• Open fires will be 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, will be allowed on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.

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 at (541) 479-3735, or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office.

 

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

• Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328
• Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152

###

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

 

See ODF's September 23rd, 2011, Bulletin announcing the decrease of the fire danger level to HIGH, with lessened restrictions. (PDF format).

 


 

Sept. 12, 2011

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 Dept. of Forestry, (541) 665-0662

HELP WANTED TO DETERMINE WILDFIRE CAUSES


Eight fires in the O’Brien area have been determined to be of suspicious origin, and the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are seeking the public’s help in finding the person responsible for setting these fires. The first fire of suspicious origin was set June 13 and the most recent was 79-acre Lone Mtn. Fire, which started Sept. 9.

Anyone who saw a person or vehicle in the area of a wildfire in the O’Brien area this summer is encouraged to call (800) 452-7888, toll-free, to reach the Oregon Council Against Arson. Information is confidential, so please leave your name, a phone number, whether you have photographs or video of one or more of these fires in the early stages, and a description of a vehicle or person that you saw.


###

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

See ODF's September 12th, 2011, Bulletin "Help Wanted to Determine Wildfire Causes." (PDF format).

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of Monday, September 5th, 2011, announcing the 24-hour shut-down of all power equipment beginning Tuesday Sept. 6th:

 

September 5, 2011

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, ODF, (541) 665-0662 or (541) 621-4156

 

POWER EQUIPMENT CLOSURE STARTS TUESDAY

IFPL 3 also goes into effect tomorrow

Continued dry weather has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to shut down all use of power-driven equipment in Jackson and Josephine counties starting at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.  Logging and other industrial activities on ODF-protected lands will also see increased fire prevention restrictions taking effect tomorrow.

The public-use fire danger level will remain at “extreme” (red), but the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will increase to level 3 (three) at 1:00 a.m. tomorrow.

 

The following public regulation use restrictions become effective tomorrow on 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.

-- 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’s instruction for firesafe operation.

 

Fire restrictions in the ODF-protected portion of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River are unchanged.

 

Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level III, the following restrictions will apply starting tomorrow:

-- Cable yarding will not be allowed. However, gravity operated-logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may not operate between 1:00 p.m. and 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 at loading sites and on tractor or skidder operations before 1:00 p.m. and after 8:00 p.m.

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.

###

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

 

See ODF's September 5th, 2011, Bulletin announcing the 24-hour shut-down of all power equipment beginning Tuesday Sept. 6th. (PDF format).

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of Wed. August 24th, 2011, announcing the rise of the fire danger level to EXTREME (RED):

 

August 24, 2011

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

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 1:00 a.m. Friday, August 26. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) remains at Level 2 (two).

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 Friday:

-- Chain saw may not be used 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.

-- The mowing or cutting of dead or dry grass with power-driven equipment will not be allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include the mowing of green lawns, or when equipment is used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

-- Cutting, grinding or welding metal will not be allowed 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 other equipment using an internal combustion engine may not be used in wildland areas between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This includes, but is not limited to, generators, firewood splitters and chippers. During other hours, this equipment should be used only in a cleared area, and have a water supply and shovel close at hand.


The following public use restrictions remain in effect:

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

-- Fireworks are prohibited on forestlands.

-- Camp fires 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.

-- 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 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 Friday:

-- 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 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.

For further information about fire restrictions in all parts of the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River, contact the Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735 or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 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.

###

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

 

See ODF's August 24th, 2011, Bulletin announcing the increase of the fire danger level to EXTREME (RED) on Friday, August 26th. (PDF format).

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of Monday, August 22nd, 2011, announcing the rise of the Industrial Fire Protection Level (IFPL) to 2 (Two) on Wed. August 24th:

 

August 22, 2011

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 Medford Unit Forester, (541) 664-3328
Rick Dryer, ODF Grants Pass Unit Forester, (541) 474-3152


INDUSTRIAL FIRE PRECAUTION LEVEL RISES TO LEVEL 2 ON WEDNESDAY

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 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 24, 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.

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.

###

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

See ODF's August 22nd, 2011, Bulletin announcing the increase of the fire danger level to EXTREME (RED) on Friday, August 26th. (PDF format).

 


 

August 18, 2011

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, fire prevention specialist, (541) 665-0662 or (541) 621-4156



DEBRIS BURNING NOT ALLOWED

Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry and rural fire protection districts have been responding to a higher than normal number of illegal burns on residential lands, primarily in Josephine County. The open burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels is not allowed on ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties during fire season, which began July 1.

People who burn debris, whether in piles or in burn barrels, may be cited for failing to comply with the fire prevention regulations currently in effect. If a wildfire is caused by debris burning, the responsible party may be billed for fire suppression costs.

Details on fire prevention restrictions that are in effect are available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov, and from the following ODF unit offices:

-- Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., (541) 664-3328

-- Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., (541) 474-3152

###

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

See ODF's August 18th, 2011, Bulletin "Debris Burning Not Allowed." (PDF format).

 


 

ODF's Bulletin of July 29th announcing the rise of the fire danger level to HIGH:

 

July 29, 2011

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, fire prevention specialist, (541) 665-0662 or (541) 621-4156



FIRE DANGER LEVEL CLIMBS TO HIGH MONDAY  [AUGUST1ST]

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will increase on August 1. The fire danger level will be raised to “high” (yellow) at 1:00 a.m. Monday, and affects 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

Restrictions that will remain in effect include:

-- No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.

-- No fireworks use on forestlands.

These additional fire prevention restrictions go into effect August 1:

-- Campfires will be allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels will be allowed in other locations.

-- Motorized vehicles will be 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 will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or when equipment is used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

-- Cutting, grinding or welding metal will not be allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. These activities will be 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 will be allowed only in 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 will remain in effect:

-- 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.

-- A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket are required of all travelers.

-- Fireworks are prohibited

Beginning August 1, these additional restrictions take effect in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial:

-- Open fires will be 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, will be allowed on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out.

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 at (541) 479-3735, or your local Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office.

Information about fire season restrictions on ODF-protected lands is available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov and at ODF Southwest Oregon District unit offices:

-- Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd: (541) 664-3328

-- Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr: (541) 474-3152

###

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

 

See ODF's July 29th, 2011, Bulletin announcing the increase of the fire danger level to HIGH (PDF format).

 


 

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry celebrated its Centennial

with an Open House on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011:

July 18, 2011

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
Brian Ballou, Fire Prevention Specialist, (541) 665-0662

ODF CENTENNIAL OPEN HOUSE

When: July 23, 2011 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Where: Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Southwest Oregon District, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point

The Oregon Department of Forestry turns 100 this year, and the Southwest Oregon District is holding an open house on July 23 to celebrate the agency’s centennial. Visitors are welcome to see the district’s wildfire suppression trucks, helicopters and other equipment. Smokey Bear will be on hand and kids can have their picture taken with the world’s most famous fire-preventing bear. Photos will also be taken beside one of the helicopters, where kids can dress up in firefighter clothing.

Other displays include the district’s recently restored 1930 Ford wildland fire suppression truck; one of the agency’s mobile kitchens, which are used to feed firefighters when a fire camp is set up; mobile fire caches, which contain extra fire suppression equipment (hoses, tools, and portable water ponds); an exhibit about the Oregon Dept. of Forestry’s 100-year history; and displays about forest management and fire prevention.

The open house begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. The event takes place at the Southwest Oregon District Headquarters, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point.

This event is free and is open to the public.

Visitors are advised to call (541) 664-3328 after 8:00 a.m. on July 23 to find out whether the event has been canceled due to fire suppression activity. Information is also available online at www.swofire.oregon.gov.

For more information, please call (541) 664-3328. People planning to attend this event are advised to call this number, or check online at www.swofire.oregon.gov, after 8:00 a.m. on July 23 to find out whether the event has been canceled due to fire suppression activity.

###

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

 


 

Previously, and in effect through July 31st, 2011:

ODF's Bulletin of June 22nd announcing the start of the 2011 fire season:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

June 22, 2011

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

FIRE SEASON BEGINS JULY 1 ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS IN JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Fire season on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest District begins July 1. The fire danger level is currently “low” (green) but will move to “moderate” (blue) on Friday, July 1. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be 1 (one). This declaration affects state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Fire season is determined by the state forester when vegetation becomes dry and fires become harder to control.

Fire season restrictions that will go into effect on July 1 are as follows:

-- Debris burning will be prohibited.
-- 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 a fire blanket that is 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 are prohibited.
-- Travelers must carry a shovel and a minimum of a one-gallon bucket.

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

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, please contact:

Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328

Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152

www.swofire.oregon.gov

###


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

See ODF's June 22nd, 2011 bulletin announcing the start of fire season (PDF format).

 



 


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

our Fire Season News Archives page.


 

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