MEDFORD, Ore. — Forestry officials are raising the Fire Danger Level to "Moderate" (Blue) for Jackson and Josephine counties starting on Wednesday, according the the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).
Restrictions began on June 1 when the agency declared Fire Season in effect. At the time, Fire Danger was considered "Low" (Green) — but increasing temperatures and dry conditions have increased the risk factor. These regulations impact 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.
Public fire restrictions currently in effect, which will remain in effect, include:
- No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels;
- No fireworks on or within one-eighth of forestlands;
- The use of non-approved electric fence controller;
- Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited;
- Smoking in areas of dry vegetation is prohibited.
Beginning Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., the following public fire restrictions will take effect:
- Open fires are prohibited which includes campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations deemed a designated campground. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed;
- 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;
- Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads free of flammable vegetation. One shovel and one gallon of water, or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher, is required while traveling.
- 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. As noted above, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
- 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 spark-emitting 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.