MEDFORD, Ore. — Beginning first thing on Friday morning, the fire danger level for Jackson and Josephine counties will rise to "High" (yellow), bringing with it added regulations.
"Many days of 80- and 90-degree temperatures have dried wildland vegetation to the point where fires will start easily and be more difficult to control," the Oregon Department of Forestry said in a statement.
All existing fire regulations will remain in effect, plus some new ones — most of them regarding the use of power equipment. The shut-down time for power-driven machinery from 1:00 p.m. to 10 a.m., as detailed below:
- Power saws must be shut down between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- Additionally, saw users must have one shovel and one fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity or greater) at the job site, and a fire watch must take place for one hour after the saw is shut down.
- Equipment used for the cutting, grinding or welding of metal must be conducted in a cleared area, and all work must stop between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. A charged garden hose or a fire extinguisher (2.5 lb. or larger) must be at the job site.
- The mowing of dry, cured grass with power equipment will not be allowed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This regulation does not apply to farm equipment used for the culture and harvest of crops.
- The use of any other spark-emitting equipment using an internal combustion engine will not be allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. During other hours, this equipment must be used in a cleared area, and a garden hose or fire extinguisher (2.5 lb. or larger) must be at the equipment site.
The following fire prevention regulations shall remain in effect:
- Fire-fighting equipment will be required to be carried in vehicles that travel off of state highways, county roads or driveways. This equipment includes one shovel and a one-gallon container of water or a fire extinguisher (2.5 lb. or larger).
- Motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles are required to have a 2.5 lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
- Motorized vehicles will be allowed only on improved roads that are free of flammable vegetation. This regulation does not apply to farm vehicles used for the culture and harvest of crops.
- Campfires will be allowed only in designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in other locations.
- Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, in a boat on the water, or in a cleared area within a campsite.
- Fireworks are not allowed to be used in any wildland or forest area.
- Debris burning is not allowed.
- Tracer ammunition and exploding targets are not to be used except in an approved range that has been cleared of flammable vegetation.
- Electric fence controllers must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, be properly grounded, and tested regularly to ensure firesafe operation.