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Fire-Related News - 2016

Local & regional news releases, articles & ODF bulletins

A chronological listing, with excerpts & links, for 2016


 

2016 FIRE SEASON SUMMARY:  

The 2016 fire season started on Fri., June 3rd, with a fire danger level of "Moderate" and an IFPL at 1 (one).

The fire danger level increased to "High" (yellow) on Thurs., June 30th, with a 10 am to 8 pm curfew for some activities, and the IFPL remaining at Level 1 (one).

The fire danger level dropped to "Moderate" (blue) on Fri., July 8th, announced by the ODF in response to recent rain, with the IFPL remaining at Level 1 (one), and with all previous public regulations, including a 10am to 8pm curfew on some regulated activities, also remaining in effect.

The fire danger returned to "High" (yellow) on Tues., July 12th, in response to higher temperatures, with the IFPL remaining at Level 1 (one), and with all previous public regulations, including a 10am to 8pm curfew on some regulated activities, also remaining in effect.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) rose to Level 2 (two) on Fri. 7/29/16, with the public fire level and previous regulations unchanged.

The public fire danger level rose to "Extreme" (red) on Mon., August 15th, with the Industrial Fire Precaution Level remaining at 2 (two) and all previous public regulations remaining in effect, except that publicly regulated activities that were previously under a curfew from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm are now prohibited, under a "24/7" shutdown.

The Industrial Fire Protection Level (IFPL) rose to Level 3 (three) on Thurs., August 18th, requiring logging, road building and other operations in forests and wildland areas to shut down most equipment by 1:00 p.m.

On Tues., September 6th, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) was lowered to Level 2 (two), with the public fire danger remaining at “extreme” (red).

On Thurs., September 22nd, the public fire danger level was lowered to HIGH (YELLOW), replacing the 24-hour ban on regulated activities with a 10:00 am until 8:00 pm curfew, with additional fire season restrictions still in effect, and with the IFPL remaining at Level 2 (two).

On Sun., October 2nd, the fire danger level dropped to MODERATE (blue), removing public use restrictions on power equipment; the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) was also lowered to Level 1 (one), with Moderate fire season regulations remaining in effect.

On Wed., October 5th, the ODF dropped the fire danger level to LOW (green), with Low fire season regulations still in effect, and with the IFPL remaining at Level one.

On Thurs., October 13th, at 12:00 am, the 2016 fire season officially ended, called by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry in a news release issued on Wed., Oct. 12th.


The fire season chronology follows, listing news releases from latest (top) to earliest; a pre-season news and bulletin archive is below.

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

The Oregon Department of Forestry's sites at:
www.swofire.com
, www.swofire.oregon.gov, wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/,
and their Fire Stats, Info & Updates page at www.oregon.gov/odf/Pages/fire/fire.aspx#Fire_Stats,_Info_&_Updates_.

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.

 

Most recent:

 

[The content of ODF's latest news release on Wed. 10/12/16 follows; some text has been bolded here for readability and emphasis:]

 

October 12, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Melissa Cano, (541) 613-6313


Fire Season Is Ending But Fire Prevention Never Stops

Oregon Department of Forestry fire officials are officially ending the 2016 fire season on Southwest Oregon District-protected lands Thursday, October 13 at 12:00 a.m.

The conclusion of fire season is a result of cooler temperatures and continued rainfall throughout Jackson and Josephine counties.

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 will no longer be enforced. This impacts 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Although fire season is coming to a close, it does not mean that there is no danger of wildfire. The end of fire season eases restrictions on activities that often can start a fire but does not relieve a person of responsibility for their actions.

Residents need to remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to practice fire prevention protocol. When burning or using any type of fire in the woods or yard, make sure to be in attendance and maintain control of your burn at all times. Clear above and around your burn, with firefighting equipment nearby as a precaution. Residents should contact their local fire department before conducting any burning as restrictions vary among local fire districts.

The firefighters and staff at the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District would like to thank all partnering agencies, support staff and the public for their continued cooperation this fire season.

For more information, 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
Information is also available online at www.swofire.com.


View ODF's 10/12/16 news release (pdf), "Fire Season Is Ending But Fire Prevention Never Stops."

 


 

[The content of ODF's latest news release on Wed. 10/5/16 follows; some text has been bolded here for readability:]

 

October 5, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502
Contact: Melissa Cano (541) 613-6313 or (541) 664-3328


Fire Restrictions Lower Today, Fire Season Remains in Effect

The wet weather and cooler temperatures [have] prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the fire danger level to “Low” (green) today.

These changes affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Dry conditions by the weekend could still pose a risk; however, rain returns again next week reducing the chance for difficult fires. Fire managers will reevaluate the upcoming conditions in order to determine if fire season can be terminated soon.

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 will be modified to the following:

• No debris burning, this includes piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

In addition to the modified public use restrictions, under state law, the use of tracer ammunition, exploding targets and sky lanterns is prohibited as long as fire season remains.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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

Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###


Melissa Rae Cano
Public Affairs Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 664-3328
Cell: (541) 613-6313
melissa.r.cano@oregon.gov

[Information received by email; no pdf file of this news release from ODF available.]

 


 

[On Sun., October 2nd, the fire danger level dropped to MODERATE (blue); the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) was also lowered to Level 1 (one). The content of ODF's 10/1/16 news release follows; some text has been bolded here for readability:]


October 1, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Melissa Cano, (541) 664-3328 or (541) 613-6313


Fire Restrictions Drop to Moderate on Sunday

The lower temperatures and forecasted rainfall has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the fire danger level to “Moderate” (blue) Sunday, October 2, 2016.

In addition, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will reduce to level I (one), also effective tomorrow.

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 remain in force. These regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect, include:

• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

• No firework use on forestlands;

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;

• No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.


For more information
about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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

Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###


Melissa Rae Cano
Public Affairs Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 664-3328
Cell: (541) 613-6313
melissa.r.cano@oregon.gov


View ODF's 10/1/16 news release "Fire Restrictions Drop to Moderate on Sunday" (pdf).

 


 

ODF's Wed. Sept. 21st news release dropping the fire danger level to HIGH (YELLOW) on Thurs., September 22nd, follows (some text is bolded for readability):


September 21, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Melissa Cano (541) 613-6313, or (541) 664-3328


Fire Danger Level Drops to High Tomorrow

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity across southwest Oregon have made it possible to ease off on some of the fire prevention regulations. However, warm and dry weather is expected to return to the region by the weekend.

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will be lowered to “high” (yellow) tomorrow, September 22, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 2 (two).

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

Restrictions on the public use of chain saws, brush cutters and other power-driven or spark-emitting machinery are being slightly relaxed, allowing the use of equipment until 10:00 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Today will be the last day power-driven and/or spark-emitting machinery is completely prohibited.


Other fire prevention regulations which will remain in effect, include:

• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

• No firework use on forestlands;

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;

• No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.

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

• Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads;

• Chain saws may be used until 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. 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 is allowed until 10:00 a.m., and may resume after 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not apply to mowing green lawns, or to equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• The cutting, grinding or welding of metal are allowed until 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. These activities may only take place at a site cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and with a water supply at the job site;

• Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned is permitted during high fire danger before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. as long as it is conducted in a cleared area and has a charged garden hose or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher immediately available.

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other designated locations;

• Electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, 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.


For more information
about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, or Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, 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 www.swofire.com.

###

Melissa Rae Cano
Public Affairs Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 664-3328
Cell: (541) 613-6313
melissa.r.cano@oregon.gov


View ODF's Wed. 9/21/16 news release: "Fire Danger Level Drops to High Tomorrow"

 


 

ODF's September 6th news release announcing the lowering of the Industrial Fire Protection Level (IFPL) back down to Level 2 (two) on Tues., September 6th, follows (some text is bolded for readability):

 

September 6, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd.
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Brian Ballou, (541) 621-4156
Melissa Cano, (541) 613-6313


Fire Restrictions Lower for Industrial Operators

Cool temperatures and high relative humidity has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to II (two) today. Cable yarding, blasting, welding or cutting of metal, and power saws except at loading sites may operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.

This does not change the fire danger level for the public; the regulated use closure will remain “extreme” (red). The regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.


Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect for the public, include:

• No debris burning in piles or in burn barrels;

• No fireworks on forestlands;

• Tracer ammunition and exploding targets may not be used on forestlands or in any other wildland area;

• Sky lanterns are disallowed.

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

• Motorized vehicles are allowed only on improved roads;

• Smoking while traveling is allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;

• 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. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher;

• A chain saw with a spark-emitting internal combustion engine may not be used;

• Mowing of dead or dry grass with equipment using a spark-emitting internal combustion engine is not allowed. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• The cutting, grinding or welding of metal are not allowed;

• The use of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine will not be allowed;

• 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:


• 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.

• All travelers are required to carry one shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket.

• The use of fireworks is prohibited.

• Campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used.


For more information
about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use regulations, or the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels 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 www.swofire.com.

###



Melissa Rae Cano
Public Affairs Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 664-3328
Cell: (541) 613-6313
melissa.r.cano@oregon.gov


View ODF's IFPL 2 news release of Tues. 9/6/16, "Fire Restrictions Lower for Industrial Operators" (pdf).

Return to top

 


 

ODF's August 16th news release announcing the rise of the Industrial Fire Protection Level (IFPL) to Level 3 (three) on Thurs., August 18th, follows (some text is bolded for readability):

 

August 16, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Oregon District SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
Contact: Brian Ballou, (541) 665-0662 or (541) 621-4156


Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 Takes Effect Thursday

Industrial operations on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties will be required to follow stricter fire prevention regulations starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, August 18. Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 (three) requires logging, road building and other operations in forests and wildland areas to shut down most equipment by 1:00 p.m.

These measures are necessary to prevent wildfires as much of the southwest portion of the state is in a period of hot weather, dry afternoon winds and low humidity.

The public regulated use fire danger level climbed to “Extreme” (red) on Monday and will remain at that level for the foreseeable future.


Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3, the following fire prevention regulations take effect on Thursday:

• 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.:

o 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;

o Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;

o Blasting;

o Welding or cutting of metal;

o Any spark-emitting activity not specifically mentioned above.


The following IFPL regulations are currently in effect and will remain in effect:

• The use of fire in any form is prohibited;

• Commercial operations must have fire suppression equipment on the job site;

• Watchman service must be provided.


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 prevention regulations are also posted online at www.swofire.com.

###

Brian Ballou
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
(541) 665-0662 (office)
(541) 621-5156 (cell)
brian.ballou@oregon.gov
www.swofire.com


View ODF's Tues. 8/16/16 news release "Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 Takes Effect Thursday" (pdf).

 


 

ODF's August 14th news release declaring the rise of the public fire danger level to EXTREME (RED) on Mon., August 15th, follows (some text is bolded for readability):

 

August 14, 2016

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd
Central Point, OR 97502

Contact: Brian Ballou, (541) 621-4156

Extreme Fire Danger Regulations Take Effect Monday

Very dry conditions in southwest Oregon’s forests and wildlands makes it necessary for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to shut down public use of power-driven and spark-emitting internal combustion engines starting Monday, Aug. 15, at 8:00 a.m.

The pubic regulated use fire danger level will be “extreme” (red) but the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at 2 (two).

These regulations affect the 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.


Below are the public regulated use restrictions that take effect Monday:

• Chain saw use will be prohibited;

• Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment will be prohibited, except for the mowing of green lawns, or the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• Cutting, grinding and welding of metal will be prohibited;

• The use of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine will be prohibited.


The following public regulated use restrictions are currently in effect and will remain in effect:

• Debris burning is prohibited;

• Burn barrel use is prohibited;

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads;

• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed;

• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles is prohibited, except on improved roads;

• Use of fireworks is prohibited;

• Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed be a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions;

• Use of exploding targets is prohibited;

• Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited;

• Use of sky lanterns is prohibited.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s fire season regulations, contact the unit office in your area:

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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

Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###


Brian Ballou
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
(541) 665-0662 (office)
(541) 621-5156 (cell)
brian.ballou@oregon.gov
www.swofire.com

View ODF's 8/14/16 news release "Extreme Fire Danger Regulations Take Effect Monday" (pdf).

 


 

ODF's July 28th news release announcing the rise of the Industrial Fire Protection Level (IFPL) to Level 2 (two) on Fri., July 29th, follows (some text is bolded for readability):

 

July 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA

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

Contact: Brian Ballou or Melissa Cano, (541) 664-3328

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 Friday, July 29, 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. The regulated use zones affected by this proclamation include SW-1, SW-2, SW-3, SW-4, SK-3, RR-1, RR-2 and RR-3, and all forestland within one-eighth of a mile of these zones.

The public regulated use fire danger level remains at “high” (yellow).

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 online at www.swofire.com.


###

Brian Ballou
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
(541) 665-0662 (office)
(541) 621-5156 (cell)
brian.ballou@oregon.gov
www.swofire.com

View ODF's 7/28/16 news release "IFPL II Takes Effect Friday..." (pdf).

 


 

ODF's 7/12/16 news release announcing a return to HIGH fire danger follows (some text is bolded here for readability):

 

July 12, 2016


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


Fire Danger Level Jumps to High Today

The fire danger level on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties is increasing to “high” (yellow) today, Tuesday, July 12.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 remain in force.

These regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect, include:

• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

• No fireworks use on forestlands;

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;

• No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.

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

• Motorized vehicles will be allowed only on improved roads;

• Smoking while traveling will be allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;

• 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. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher;

• Chain saws may not be used between 10:00 a.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 one-hour fire watch is required after the saw is shut down;

• Mowing 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 mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• The cutting, grinding or welding of metal will not be allowed between 10:00 a.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;

• 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.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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
Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###

Brian Ballou
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Southwest Oregon District
(541) 665-0662 (office)
(541) 621-5156 (cell)
brian.ballou@oregon.gov
www.swofire.com


View ODF's 7/12/16 news release "Fire Danger Level Jumps to High Today"
(pdf).

 


ODF's bulletin of 8 July announcing the lowering of the fire danger level to Moderate (blue) follows (some text is bolded here for readability):

 

July 8, 2016

Oregon Department of Forestry - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Southwest Oregon District SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock Rd. - Central Point, OR 97502
Contact: Brian Ballou, (541) 621-4156


Fire Danger Drops to Moderate Today

Light rain overnight has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District to drop the fire danger level to “Moderate” (blue) today. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

The fire prevention regulations put into effect on June 30 remain in force. These regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect, include:

• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

• No fireworks use on forestlands;

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;

• No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.

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

• Motorized vehicles will be allowed only on improved roads;

• Smoking while traveling will be allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;

• 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. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher;

• Chain saws may not be used between 10:00 a.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 one-hour fire watch is required after the saw is shut down;

• Mowing 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 mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• The cutting, grinding or welding of metal will not be allowed between 10:00 a.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;

• 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.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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
Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-5156
brian.ballou@oregon.gov

View ODF's 8 July 2016 Moderate Fire Danger news release (pdf).

 


 

The fire danger level increased to "HIGH" as of June 30th. The ODF announced the increase to High on 6/28; the new level and related public and industrial regulations went into effect on Thursday, June 30th.

In a second news release on 6/28, the ODF also announced fire prevention regulations that are now in effect since June 30th for the Wild & Scenic Section of Rogue River.

The text of ODF's news releases is as follows (some parts are bolded here for readability), with a link to ODF's news releases below each bulletin:

 

June 28, 2016

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

 

High Wildfire Danger Regulations Take Effect Thursday

Continued hot and dry weather has made it necessary for the Oregon Department of Forestry to raise the fire danger level to “high” (yellow) on Thursday, June 30. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 1 (one).

These regulations listed below affect 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.

Fire prevention regulations currently in effect, and which will remain in effect, include:

• No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;

• No fireworks use on forestlands;

• Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;

• No sky lanterns may be used in wildland and forestland areas.

Starting Thursday at 12:01 a.m., the following regulations will go into effect:

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

• Motorized vehicles will be allowed only on improved roads;

• Smoking while traveling will be allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads;

• 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. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher;

• Chain saws may not be used between 10:00 a.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 one-hour fire watch is required after the saw is shut down;

• Mowing 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 mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops;

• The cutting, grinding or welding of metal will not be allowed between 10:00 a.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;

• 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.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s public regulated use 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
Fire season information is also available online at www.swofire.com.

###

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-4156
brian.ballou@oregon.gov

View ODF's High Fire Danger 6/28/16 news release (pdf).

 

_________________________

 

The text of ODF's 2nd 6/28/16 news release follows (some parts are bolded here for readability):

 

June 28, 2016

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

 

Fire Prevention Regulations Take Effect Thursday in Wild & Scenic Section of Rogue River

The fire danger level will be “high” (yellow) in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial starting 12:01 a.m. Thursday, June 30.

The Wild and Scenic section of the river between Grave Creek and Marial is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and protected from fire by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District.

The following fire prevention restrictions will take effect on Thursday:

• 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.

• All travelers will be required to carry one shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket.

• The use of fireworks will be prohibited.

• Campfires, including cooking fires and warming fires, will be prohibited. However, 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 that are free of vegetation. Ashes must be hauled out. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may also be used.

For further information about fire restrictions in the Wild and Scenic Section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial, contact:

• The Oregon Department of Forestry, Grants Pass Unit, (541) 474-3152;
o www.swofire.com.

• The Smullin Visitor Center located at the Rand National Historic Site at (541) 479-3735

###

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-4156
brian.ballou@oregon.gov

View ODF's 2nd 6/28/16 news release, "Fire Prevention Regulations Take Effect Thursday in Wild & Scenic Section of Rogue River" (pdf).

 


 

ODF's news release bulletin announcing the start of fire season on Fri. June 3rd, 2016, follows (some text is bolded here for readability):

 

June 1, 2016

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

Fire Season on ODF-Protected Lands Begins June 3

Fire season begins Friday, June 3, at 12:01 a.m. on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District. Lands affected by this declaration include state, private, county, city, and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The public regulated use fire danger level will be “moderate” (blue) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will be 1 (one).

Last year, fire season started on June 5 and ended October 28. A total of 255 fires burned on lands protected by the Southwest Oregon District, and blackened 347 acres. More than 200 of those fires were started by people and 53 fires by lightning. According to the 10-year average of fires on the district, 230 fires may burn more than 5,600 acres during fire season.

The 2016 fire season may be another very active one. A good snowpack in the Cascade Range and the Siskiyou Mountains recharged most of the southwest Oregon region’s reservoirs, but may have little positive effect on wildfire activity in the district, most of which covers low-elevation grass and brush lands and mid-elevation forests. Residual snowpack is at higher elevations on national forest and national park lands.

While spring was reasonably wet, it was also 6-8 degrees warmer than normal. Abundant grass and weed growth across the district will provide plenty of fuel for wildfires, once the vegetation fully cures. In addition, tree mortality from the drought has left numerous dead and dying trees scattered across the landscape. These may moderately increase the severity of forest fires in some parts of the district.

Beginning Friday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed. Other public regulated use restrictions on ODF-protected forestlands include:

• No fireworks;
• No tracer ammunition or exploding targets;
• No sky lanterns.

Under Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1 on ODF-protected lands, 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 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 www.swofire.com.

###

Brian Ballou
Fire Prevention Specialist
ODF Southwest Oregon District
Office: (541) 665-0662
Cell: (541) 621-4156
brian.ballou@oregon.gov

View ODF's 6/1/16 bulletin "Fire Season on ODF-Protected Lands Begins June 3" (pdf).

 


 

The following is an archive of the 2016 pre-season:

 

[All open or debris burning ended as of 12:01 AM Friday June 3rd, when fire season officially began.]

Use Caution When Burning Debris:

ODF's Fire Prevention Specialist Brian Ballou issued an advisory ("Use Caution with Open Burning," on Tues. 4/5/16 regarding the burning of slash or debris piles:

"Preventing summer wildfires and protecting your home often starts in the spring when fire danger is traditionally low and the warm weather lends to working outside. Spring is the perfect time to clean up around the home and discard piles of yard debris safely and effectively. Regardless of the time of year, always use caution if your plans include burning piles of yard debris..."

"The Oregon Department of Forestry urges residents to exercise caution when burning debris and to refer to the following checklist before burning:

Seek alternatives to burning, such as chipping or recycling the debris.
• If you decide to burn the material, call your structural fire department to see if a burning permit is required.
• Call your county’s air quality office to find out whether open burning is allowed that day. The number in Jackson County is (541) 776-7007. In Josephine County, call (541) 476-9663.
• Construct the burn pile in an isolated spot so the flames won’t spread to adjacent vegetation. Dig or scrape a fire line around the burn pile. Make sure there are no overhanging branches or powerlines above the burn pile.
• Keep the burn pile small. Burning a small pile is easier to control than a large one.
• Have a shovel and water at the burn pile site. If the site can be reached with a garden hose, make sure the hose extends at least 25 feet beyond the pile’s location.
• Avoid burning during windy conditions. Embers can travel and ignite spot fires nearby.
• Stay with the fire, wetting down the edges to prevent escape, until it is completely out.
• Remember, unattended piles can quickly spread out of control. If your debris burn escapes control, call 911 immediately.

"This is also the best time of year to make your property wildfire-safe. Be sure and remove all dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters. Create a defensible space of 30 to 100 feet around your home by clearing brush and moving wood piles. Keep your lawn well irrigated and make sure your driveway is clearly marked and accessible for emergency vehicles and equipment..."

Read the complete bulletin "Use Caution with Open Burning" (pdf).

NOTE: The Colestin Rural Fire District does not require burn permits, but we do request that anyone planning to conduct a burn notify us ahead of time, so that we are aware of your activity and know that your burn is intentional, instead of wasting resources on a false alarm.

It is also necessary to check with the County at (541) 776-7007 before conducting a burn to determine if current air quality conditions allow burning.

As always, if you encounter unexpected problems with a burn, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. If a burn escapes your control, call 9-1-1 immediately. (That way, we get notified AND we have back-up support from other agencies if needed.) It is far better to call for help as soon as possible than to wait until we all have a serious fire on our hands.

 


 

Fire-related news and summaries for current and previous fire seasons are available from our Fire Season News Archives page.


 

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