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The 2005 fire season ended on October 26th, according to Brian Ballou, ODF's Wildland/Urban Interface Specialist for the Southwest Oregon District.

The end of fire season pertains to all forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District, and applies to state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

All public use restrictions as of that date were lifted. Open and barrel burning have been allowed as of October 26th, but residents are required to follow local burning regulations, including any permit requirements. The Colestin rural fire district does not have any permit requirements during the wet season.We do advise residents conducting burning to follow all usual fire safety precautions.

The full text of ODF's public announcement declaring the end of the 2005 fire season is as follows:

October 26, 2005

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY - SOUTHWEST OREGON DISTRICT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SOUTHWEST OREGON NEWS MEDIA
5286 Table Rock RD - Central Point, OR 97502
Contact: Greg Alexander, (541) 664-3328 - Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

FIRE SEASON ENDS ON ODF-PROTECTED FORESTLANDS

Fire season ended today at 8:00 A.M., October 26, 2005, on forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District, and applies to state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The district declared fire season on June 27 and it lasted 122 days.

Open and barrel burning are allowed as of today, but residents are required to follow local burning regulations. Briefly, here are the open burning regulations for Jackson and Josephine counties:

  • Open burning is disallowed within the city limits of Medford and Jacksonville.

  • Many fire districts require a permit that must be obtained prior to starting an open burn. Call your local fire protection district for permit information.

  • Burning within Jackson County’s Air Quality Maintenance Area is controlled. Call 776-7007 to find out whether burning is allowed prior to lighting an open fire. In the City of Rogue River area, call 582-2876.

  • In Josephine County, call 476-9663 for open burning information.

Southwest Oregon District Fire Season Statistics

  2005 10-Year Average

Human-Caused Fires
   
Number of Fires 176 175
Acres Burned 3,247 464
Lightning-Caused Fires    
Number of Fires 12 59
Acres Burned 1,726 4,232
All Fires    
Number of Fires 187 233
Acres Burned 4,972 4,696


More than 96 percent of all fires on Southwest Oregon District-protected lands were controlled at 10 acres or less. Equipment use caused more fires than any other category (e.g. lightning, juveniles, smokers, etc.).

Sixty-seven of the district’s fires were caused by equipment; this category includes power lines, vehicles, farm machinery, logging equipment, brush cutters and mowers. Fires caused by equipment use burned nearly 3,133 acres.

The district’s largest fires were the Wasson Fire, which burned 1,510 acres, and the Deer Creek Fire, which burned 1,548 acres. The district also managed a portion of the 14,908-acre Blossom Complex.

The Southwest Oregon District also benefited from a state-contracted retardant bomber stationed at the Medford Airtanker Base from July 7 through September 20. This bomber, and others, dropped 99 loads of retardant on 16 district fires; retardant drops were credited with stopping the spread of 11 of these fires.

Nearly 275,000 gallons of retardant were used on fires within the district.
For more information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry’s unit office in your area:

ODF Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
ODF Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152

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View / Print ODF's End of Fire Season 2005 News Release document as a PDF file.
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher, FREE if you need to download it.)

 

 

Previously this season:

All other public use restrictions, including the use of chain saws and mowers, were lifted as of October 3rd. All open burning and the use of burn barrels remained prohibited.

_________________

 

The ODF issued a news release on August 18th regarding fire restriction violations. The full text is as follows:

August 18, 2005

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, (541) 621-4156

CARELESS MOMENTS CAUSE COSTLY FIRES

Fire season is not the time to burn debris in burn barrels or to use power-driven equipment, such as brush cutters and chain saws, in areas of tall, dry grass. It is also not the time to discard lit cigarettes or drive vehicles onto dry grass. Yet all of these things are taking place nearly every day on lands in Jackson and Josephine counties that are protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District.

People cause 75 percent of all wildland fires on the district; the rest are caused by lightning. Power equipment-caused fires account for nearly one-third of all human-caused fires, and nearly half of these fires are caused by vehicles – automobiles, motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles. Chain saws, brush cutters and mowers are also included in this category. Also, escaped debris-burning fires cause 14 percent of the fires fought by district firefighters, and smoker-related fires account for 9 percent.

If a fire is human-caused, an investigation is conducted to determine whether suppression costs can be recovered from the responsible party.

On August 8, public “regulated use” restrictions took effect on ODF-protected lands – which include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands in the two-county area – prohibiting activities that cause most wildland fires. It is now illegal to:

-- Use motorized vehicles off an improved road
-- Smoke while traveling, unless in an enclosed vehicle
-- Use fireworks
-- Have open fires, except campfires in designated campgrounds
-- Use chain saws
-- Mow dry grass with power-driven equipment, except to harvest agriculture products (It’s also OK to mow a green lawn)
-- Cut, grind or weld metal outdoors

Violating a regulated use restriction may result in a citation. Fines for regulated use violations range from $94 to $493. Should a fire occur, the person who caused it may get a ticket and a bill for suppression costs.

Fighting wildland fires is expensive. The cost of a routine response to a reported fire ranges from $500 to $1,500. If additional fire-fighting equipment is needed, the cost rapidly increases. A helicopter costs approximately $2,000 for three hours of use, and each load of retardant dropped from a bomber costs $10,000.

In just the past week in Josephine County, ODF firefighters responded to 32 reports of regulated use violations: seven reports of chain saw use, 14 reports of people mowing or operating other equipment in dry grass, six reports of people burning debris in burn barrels or piles, four reports of vehicles being operated off of improved roads, and one report of someone grinding and cutting metal in a fire hazard area. Additionally, three fires occurred: one from equipment, one from debris burning and one from a campfire.

Being careless with fire is costly. However, all fires caused by carelessness are preventable.

For information about fire prevention and fire season regulations, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at (541) 664-3328 in Central Point or at (541) 474-3152 in Grants Pass, or call your local fire protection district.

View the August 18th, 2005, ODF News Release (above) as a pdf file.
(This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher, FREE if you need to download it.)

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Public fire danger regulated-use activity restrictions:

The ODF announced that new fire danger regulated-use activity restrictions are effective as of 12:01 AM Monday, August 8th, 2005. At this time, the posted fire danger level also moved to Extreme.

Restrictions pertain to all potentially fire-causing human activities. The restrictions apply to all ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties. This includes private wildland properties within the Colestin fire district. (For a clarification of how the ODF and CRFD and Hilt VFD work together for fire prevention and protection within our district, see Our Legal Charter: Fire Protection and Medical Services.)


According to regulations beginning on August 8th:

August 3, 2005

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 [and] Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

FIRE DANGER EXTREME ON ODF-PROTECTED LANDS

The wildland fire danger levels on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District are rising at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 8. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) climbs to "Level 3" and the public (Regulated Use) fire level is increasing to "Extreme" (red). Specific restrictions are detailed below:

These restrictions affect state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Under IFPL 3, the following restrictions will be in place as of August 8, 2005:

-- Use of Fire – The use of fire in any form is prohibited.

-- Partial Shutdown – The following are prohibited except as indicated:
* Cable yarding – except that gravity operated logging systems employing
non-motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m.,
when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground
except the line between the carriage and the chokers.
* Power saws – except power saws may be used at loading sites and on tractor
or skidder operations between the hours of 8:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m., local time.

-- In addition, the following are permitted only between the hours of 8:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m., local time:
* Tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, and shovel logging operations;
where equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline is immediately
available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire.
* Mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material.
* Blasting.
* Welding or cutting of metal.
* Any spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.

The following public (Regulated Use) fire restrictions are now in place, as of August 8th, 2005:

-- Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.
-- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
-- Open fires are prohibited, including burn barrel use, campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, debris burning, and warming fires except at locations designated in writing by the Forester. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

-- Chain saw use is prohibited.
-- Use of fireworks is prohibited.
-- Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
-- Mowing of dry grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

Additionally, the following public use fire restrictions will be in effect August 8 in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River, between Graves Creek and Marial:


-- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars which lay between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation.

-- Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels and raised bed barbecues are allowed on sand or gravel bars which lay between water and high water marks which are free of vegetation.

-- Possession of the following fire fighting equipment is required while traveling: one shovel and a one gallon or larger bucket.

For more information about fire season regulations, or to view a map of areas affected by these regulations, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry’s unit office in your area:

-- ODF Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
-- ODF Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152

Current information about fire restrictions in the Medford and Grants Pass units is also available on the World Wide Web:

ODF Medford Unit: http://oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/MED/aboutus.shtml
ODF Grants Pass Unit: http://oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/GP/aboutus.shtml

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You can also view the above ODF News Release of 3 August 2005 in PDF format.
(This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher, FREE if you need to download it.)

 

 

NEW: The ODF's Southwest Oregon District now posts current fire season information online, with the fire danger level and public use restrictions. ODF news releases and regulated use proclamations that apply to state, private and BLM-managed forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties are also posted. View the page for Jackson County.

 

 

The 2005 Fire Season in southern Oregon was declared as of 12:01 A.M. on June 27th by the ODF. Some public regulated-use closures were instituted in southern Oregon at that time.

Additional public activity restrictions were posted on July 6th, due to continued hot and dry weather and several wildfires. (These were the first restrictions to apply within our district.)

On July 6th, the ODF issued the following public activity fire restrictions:

1. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads.

2. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

3. Open fires are prohibited, including burn barrel use, campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, debris burning, and warming fires except at locations designated in writing by the Forester. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

4. Chain saw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following fire fighting equipment is present with each operating saw:  one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire
extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

5. Use of fireworks is prohibited.

6. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.

7. Mowing of grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

The State Forester or an authorized representative must approve any waiver of these requirements in writing.

Definitions:

"Axe" means a wood cutting tool having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than 2 pounds.

"Cleared area" means an area surrounding the specified activity from which all flammable vegetation has been removed for the distance necessary to prevent the spread of fire from the activity to the adjacent forestland.

“Entrants” means all persons.

"Fire watch" means a person who is physically capable and experienced to constantly observe all areas in which chain saw use occurred and who has adequate communications to summon fire fighting assistance. "Fireworks" means any combustible or explosive device or any other article which was prepared for the purpose of providing a visible or audible
effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, including firecrackers, fountains, skyrockets, snakes and sparklers.

“Forester” means the State Forester or authorized representative.

"Improved road" means a road maintained for the use of passenger cars and that is clear of flammable debris.

"Open fire" means the outdoor burning of any matter in such a way that the combustion air is not effectively controlled and the products of combustion are emitted directly into the atmosphere without passing through a stack or chimney.

“Restrictions” means those requirements which must be complied with when on lands subject to this proclamation, unless waived or modified by the forester in writing. Such requirements do not apply to an operation for which a permit has been issued in accordance with ORS 477.625.

"Shovel" means a digging tool having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a blade of approximately 6-8 inches in width.

___________________________

The above information comes directly from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry's Regulated Closure Proclamation 06, issued from Salem, OR., on 00:01 a.m., PDT, Friday, July 8, 2005 by Richard D. Gibson, Fire Policy and Prevention Manager. This proclamation shall remain in full force and effect until terminated by similar order of the forester.

View this proclamation (in pdf file format - this requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher, FREE if you need to download it). ODF's online fire season information Regulated Use Proclamations section also has a direct link to this document.

 

As of Thursday, July 28th, the restriction curfew for some public regulated-use activities on public and private lands (chain saws, mowers and other power-driven equipment) moved to earlier in the day.

On July 26th, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced the following:


July 26, 2005

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 [and] Rick Dryer, (541) 474-3152

HOT WEATHER PROMPTS INCREASED FIRE PRECAUTION LEVELS

Prolonged hot and dry weather throughout southwest Oregon is prompting increased fire restrictions on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District, based in Central Point.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) climbs to “Level 2” at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 28.

The Public Use fire precaution level remains “High” (yellow); however, chain saws, mowers and other power-driven equipment may be used only during early morning and late evening hours.

These restrictions affect state, county, private and Bureau of Land Management lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

 

Under IFPL 2, the following restrictions shall be in place as of July 28:

1. Commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service

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

3. Power saws may not be operated between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., except at loading sites.

4. Cable yarding may not take place between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

5. Blasting is disallowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

6. Welding or cutting of metal may not take place between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.


Public fire restrictions:

1. The use of motorized vehicles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited except on improved roads.

2. Chain saw use is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours if the following fire fighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

3. Mowing of dry grass with power driven equipment is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

4. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

5. Open fires to burn debris are prohibited; burn barrels are also disallowed. Campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds.

6. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.

ODF’s Southwest Oregon District protects 1.8 million acres of forestland. Fire season was declared on these lands June 27.

For more information about fire season regulations, or to view a map of areas affected by these regulations, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry’s unit office in your area:

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

ODF Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Drive, Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152

Current information about fire restrictions on the Medford and Grants Pass units is also available on the World Wide Web:

ODF Medford Unit: http://oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/MED/aboutus.shtml

ODF Grants Pass Unit: http://oregon.gov/ODF/FIELD/GP/aboutus.shtml

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View the above ODF July 26th information release as a pdf file document.
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher, FREE if you need to download it.)

 

 

For additional info see:

 

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