ODF Southwest Oregon preps for thunderstorm

Fire Season 2019: For the latest updates on fires buring in our region, go here: Fire Season 2019.

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – With lightning expected in the forecast this week, firefighters are gearing up in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest Oregon District said all staff members will be available to respond to lightning-caused fires in the coming days.

“Since the beginning of Fire Season 2019,” ODF said, “only 10 fires have determined to be caused by lightning on the District; however dry fuels typical of late August have the potential to spark easily and spread quickly.”

More than 200 ODF firefighters will be available to respond to new fire starts on ODF-protected lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties. This is in addition to the resource ramp-up reported by the U.S. Forest Service in the region who a prepping to protect USFS land in southwestern Oregon.

ODF-protected land in Jackson and Josephine Counties remain under Extreme Fire Danger. The following restrictions are in place:

  • Debris burning is prohibited. This includes burn barrels.
  • Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
  • Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except when used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Fireworks are prohibited on or within 1/8 of a mile of forestland.
  • Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
  • The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
  • 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 2.5-pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2.5-pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  • The use of power saws is prohibited.
  • The cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
  • The mowing of dry or dead grass is prohibited.
  • The operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned above is prohibited.

For more information on current regulations, visit www.swofire.com

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