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DOF Increases Fire Restrictions
The Oregon Department of Forestry has increased restrictions on forest activities due to rising fire danger starting July 11th. The “Regulated Use” closure is geared to reduce the chance of wildfires starting from public activities in forested areas.
The restrictions ban the following activities:
- Smoking in the forest except in closed vehicles
- Campfires outside of designated campgrounds
- All open fires
- Use of motorized vehicles except on improved roads
- Use of any fireworks and the use of chainsaws
- Mowing of tall dead or cured grass is allowed, but only before 1pm or after 8pm.
The Regulated Use closure also requires forest users to carry a shovel with a 26-inch handle with an 8-inch blade, and either one gallon water or a 2-1/2 lb., ABC-rated fire extinguisher. Fire season was declared on the West Oregon District on July 1st. This declaration primarily affects forest operations, such as logging sites, by requiring firefighting equipment on site and the use of precautionary measures against fire. The “Regulated Use” closure extends restrictions and preventative measures to the public on all private and Bureau of Land Management forest lands in Benton, Lincoln, Polk and southern Yamhill counties.
As the summer has progressed, conditions in the forest have gotten warmer and drier, pushing the fire danger up. The intent of the Regulated Use closure is to limit some of the potential ignition sources of forest fires. Human activities continue to be the top cause of forest fires.