Friday, July 7, 2017

Open burning closed for Fire Season

Debris burning, including burn barrels, is prohibited on lands inside Oregon Department of Forestry's Central Oregon District. Escaped and rekindled burns account for a significant portion of the human caused fires each year within the District. The intent of banning open fires is to eliminate this potential during fire season when fire danger is high and the risk of rapid spread is increased.  Firefighting resources working to put out preventable human caused fires contributes to long term fatigue and could prevent firefighters from being able to respond in a timely manner to lightning fires.  These preventable fires also increase unnecessary exposure and risk to our firefighters.

If you have questions regarding open burning during fire season please contact your local ODF office or rural fire department.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Burning on ODF protected lands in John Day Unit prohibited until fall

Effective immediately all  debris and slash burning on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) John Day Unit is prohibited.  This includes private ownership in Grant, Morrow, Gilliam, Harney, Umatilla, and Wheeler counties which are part of ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Fuel conditions and changing weather patterns have increased the risk of rapid fire spread from uncontrolled fires.  If you have questions regarding burning on land protected by ODF in the John Day Unit please call 541-575-1139.

Last year in an effort to improve efficiency in the John Day Unit and to streamline burning options for landowners ODF implemented a process where burn permits from ODF are not required when the risk of fire spread is limited and fire season is not in effect.  Following fire season, the John Day Unit will again open burning for landowners to dispose of yard debris, fuel reduction material, and harvesting slash.
This burn ban does not apply to campfires, however following these tips will help reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire resulting from a campfire:
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep the campfire small and manageable.
  • Have water and a shovel available.
  • Clear the area around the campfire to mineral soil.
  • Drown your campfire with water and stir until it is cold to touch to extinguish
  • Report any uncontrolled fire to 9-1-1.
Additional information can be found on ODF’s Fire Prevention webpage:  http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx
 
Uncontrolled fire, or burning without a permit or during a closed burn season can result in citations and fines, as well as liability for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.  Consider alternatives to burning such as chipping, composting and debris removal programs through your local landfill. 
 
Contact information for local ODF Offices can be found on the District’s webpage:  www.ODFcentraloregon.com

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Fire Season ends for private lands in central Oregon

The 2016 Fire Season for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District (COD) will terminate at 12:01 am October 14, 2016.  Powerful winter storms are expected to cross central Oregon starting today, bringing moisture and cooler conditions, reducing the risk of wildfire.  “Reducing is the key word,” says Ben Duda, Sisters’ Assistant Unit Forester.  “We all need to be cautious and responsible in our activities.  Just because fire season is over doesn’t mean things won’t burn.”

COD firefighters have responded to ninety-seven fires in 2016, burning 2,456 acres.  Twenty-three of these fires were caused by lightning, but 77% of the fires were human caused.  Topping the list for human caused fires is escaped debris burns and campfires which are not fully extinguished.  Fall weather can vary day to day, cold temperatures and wind can dry fuels and fan flames when fires are left unattended or not DEAD OUT.

Uncontrolled fire can result in citations and fines, as well as liability for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.  Consider alternatives to burning such as chipping, composting and debris removal programs through your local landfill. 
Following these tips will help reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire:
  • Check with your local fire agency to determine if you need a permit, what restrictions are in place, and if it is a burn day.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep fires small and manageable.
  • Do not burn on windy days.
  • Have water and a shovel available.
  • Clear the area around the fire to mineral soil.
  • To extinguish your fire:  Drown with water and stir until it is cold to the touch.
  • Report any uncontrolled fire to 9-1-1.
Additional information can be found on ODF’s Fire Prevention webpage:  http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx
 
Termination of fire season brings an increase in outdoor burning from activities such as fuel reduction, yard debris clean-up, and operations to reduce slash in managed forests.  Over the next few weeks smoke columns will be visible throughout central Oregon.
 
The process for obtaining burn permits has changed in some Units of COD.  Please check with your local office for information regarding burn permits from ODF.  Contact information for local ODF Offices can be found on the District’s webpage:  www.ODFcentraloregon.com.  Requests for burn permits can also be entered on the website.