High Fire Danger Restrictions are now in place for the City of Elgin and all of Union County
ODF Northeast Oregon District is Changing Restrictions from Moderate to High Fire Danger
La Grande, OR – Wildfire risk is rising rapidly with warmer and drier weather, which has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry-Northeast Oregon District to implement High Fire Restrictions on lands protected by ODF, which will go into effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023. The primary objective of these additional fire prevention measures is to prevent human-caused fires.
Tinder-dry Forest fuels increase the chance of a spark or cinder igniting a wildland fire. These restrictions affect private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla, and small portions of Malheur, Grant, and Morrow Counties. Remember, “Only you can prevent wildfires!” The public’s awareness of the increasing fire danger and cooperation is essential to a safe fire season.
High fire danger restrictions include the following fire prevention measures:
• All open debris burning and the use of burn barrels.
• Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Propane fire pits are allowed if they are self-contained and 3 feet away from any flammable fuels with a maximum flame height of 2 feet.
• Non-industrial Chainsaw use is prohibited Noon-8PM.
o Non-industrial chainsaw use is allowed at all other hours if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one shovel or other firefighting tool, and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher or 1-gallon of water. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the end of chainsaw use.
o Electric Chainsaws are allowed all day.
• Use of fireworks.
• Use of exploding targets.
• Use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base.
• Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.
• Smoking while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at a cleared area free of flammable vegetation.
• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required for any vehicle/UTV/ATV traveling on unimproved roadways, where flammable vegetation exists on roadway; shovel or other firefighting tool, minimum of 1-gallon of water, or 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
• Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited Noon-8PM, except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
o Electric string trimmers are allowed all day.
• Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is prohibited Noon-8PM. Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a 10-foot area cleared of flammable vegetation, shovel or other firefighting tool, minimum of 1-gallon of water, or 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
• Use of sky lanterns throughout the year in Oregon.
Aside from these restrictions, also prohibited is the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition.
These restrictions shall remain in effect until replaced, suspended, or terminated by additional proclamations.
For further information, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at these local offices:
La Grande Unit (541) 963-3168
Baker City Sub-Unit (541) 523-5831
Wallowa Unit (541) 886-2881
Pendleton Unit (541) 276-3491
Current fire restrictions for forestlands in Northeast Oregon can be found at www.bmidc.org. The Northeast Oregon Fire Prevention line is (541) 975-3027.
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To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch at (541) 963-7171 or dial 9-1-1.