ODF Ups Restrictions To Reduce Fire Danger
The Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry is increasing restrictions to reduce the chance of human-caused wildfires on private, state, and municipally owned lands it protects, including those in Hood River and Wasco counties. ODF officials cite current fuel conditions, the potential of rapid fire spread, future weather forecasts with the possibility of lightning, and increased initial and extended attack activity both locally and statewide. The restrictions include a prohibition on smoking except in vehicles on improved roads, a ban on open fires, and prohibitions between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on chainsaw use, the cutting, grinding, and welding of metal, and mowing dried grass with power driven equipment except for the commercial culture or harvest of agricultural crops. The use of motor vehicles is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood, and the use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited. Industrial operations in Hood River and Wasco counties also move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3.