In a promising development for residents of Jackson and Josephine counties in Oregon, the fire danger level on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest Oregon District is set to decrease to “moderate” (blue) as of today. Additionally, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will decrease to Level 1 (one) at the same time.
This news brings a sense of relief to the communities in the region that have been on high alert due to the elevated fire danger levels in recent months. However, it’s important to note that despite this positive change, several fire restrictions for the public will remain in effect.
These regulations will impact a vast expanse of approximately 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands protected by ODF’s Southwest Oregon District.
During the “moderate” fire danger level, the following public fire restrictions will continue to be in effect:
- No Debris Burning: This includes piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
- No Fireworks: Fireworks are prohibited on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land.
- Prohibited Ammunition: Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, as well as any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are strictly prohibited.
- Smoking Restrictions: Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other specifically designated locations. Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires, and warming fires, are prohibited except at designated campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are still allowed in areas clear of vegetation.
- Chainsaw Use: Chainsaws may not be used between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during “moderate” fire danger. Outside of this time frame, chainsaws may be used but require the operator to have one shovel and one 8-oz or larger fire extinguisher at the work site. A fire watch is also required for one hour after each chainsaw use.
- Metalwork Restrictions: Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal are not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. during “moderate” fire danger. These activities will be allowed during hours outside of this time frame only if the work site is cleared of potentially flammable vegetation and other materials, and a water supply is at the job site.
- Grass Mowing: The mowing of dead or dried grass with power-driven equipment is not allowed between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This restriction does not include mowing of green lawns or equipment used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
- Motorized Vehicles: Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, will be allowed only on improved roads that are free of flammable vegetation. Travelers are required to have one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2.5-pound or larger fire extinguisher while on the move.
For more information about these fire season public restrictions and to stay updated on any changes, please contact or visit the nearest Southwest Oregon District unit office:
- Medford Unit: 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. Phone: (541) 664-3328
- Grants Pass Unit: 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. Phone: (541) 474-3152
As the fire danger level decreases, these measures are crucial to ensure the safety of the community and the protection of the region’s natural landscapes. Residents are urged to stay informed and adhere to these guidelines to prevent potential wildfires.