Fire Danger Level Drops to 'Moderate' in Southwest Oregon

Although some restrictions remain, rains and cooler temperatures have prompted forestry officials to relax many of them.

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 10:31 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Rain and cooling temperatures over the weekend have prompted forestry officials to decrease the Fire Danger Level to "Moderate" (blue) effective Monday morning, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).

The lower level affects ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

ODF notes that the following restrictions remain in effect, in spite of the decrease:

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

 • No fireworks on forestlands.

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

 • 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; one shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.

 • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.

 • Chain saws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. During hours outside of this time frame, chain saws may be used but require that the operator have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use.

 • Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site.

 • The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns, or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

 • Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine-use not specifically mentioned is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during moderate fire danger. Use of any sparkemitting internal combustion engine is allowed outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site.

 • Any 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.

Over the weekend, ODF also reduced the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to II — a separate category than those for the general public. The following activities are still prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. during the day:

 • Power saws, except power saws may operate at loading sites;

 • Feller-bunchers with rotary head saws;

 • Cable yarding

 • Blasting

 • Welding, cutting, or grinding of metal

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