New Widespread Fire, Burning Restrictions Now in Oregon
Washington state isn't the only area seeing fire restrictions due to the drought.
The National Weather Service and other forecasters have included the entire Pacific Northwest as part of their drought warnings, and now new fire restrictions are in place across Oregon.
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, the following new bans or restrictions are now in place:
".... these restrictions will be in force on private and non-federal public forestlands in 12 counties including Harney, Morrow, Grant, Wheeler, Gilliam, Hood River, Wasco, Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson, along with small portions of Umatilla and Lake counties.
The restrictions are pretty significant. Again from the Oregon Department of Forestry:
* Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
* Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Open fires are allowed if conducted in compliance with a valid Burning Permit issued pursuant to ORS 477.515.
* Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one ax, one shovel, and one 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required for at least one hour following the use of each saw.
* Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. At all other times the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one ax, one shovel, and one 2-?1/2 pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order.
* Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner on their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
The restrictions also include fireworks, blasting, and even electric fencing surrounding property has to be certified it has been tested by a national laboratory and is safe and in proper working condition.
Officials did not say now long these restrictions will be in place.