IFPL 2 to go into effect next Wednesday, July 6
Central Oregon – As we approach July 4th weekend, federal land managers are asking for the public’s help in keeping your public lands safe. Leave fireworks and exploding targets at home, and be sure to properly extinguish all campfires.
Federal land managers will also raise the Industrial Fire Protection Level to level 2 beginning next Wednesday, July 6, at 12:01 am. IFPL 2, also known as “Partial Hootowl,” prohibits the use of chainsaws and other power equipment between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. (More information on IFPL can be found here).
While the upper elevations across Central Oregon are still green in many places, the lower elevations are drying out and weather predictions call for continued warming and drying trends.
Throughout the Central Oregon Fire Management Service area, there have been 101 wildfires so far this year that have burned close to 10,000 acres. Of those, 73 fires have been human-caused.
Last weekend, Central Oregon experienced three human-caused fires, the most visible last Sunday on the shore of Crane Prairie Reservoir. On Monday, a human-caused fire started near Allen Creek horse camp on the Ochoco National Forest and grew to half an acre.
Earlier in the season, Central Oregon experienced two large fires along river corridors. Annual campfire restrictions along the Deschutes, John Day and Crooked Rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook, remain in effect.
Remember: possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device on National Forest System lands is prohibited year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Fireworks and exploding targets are banned on BLM-administered lands in Oregon from May 27, 2016 to October 14, 2016
Visitors are encouraged to enjoy one of the many community fireworks displays that will be offered throughout Central Oregon on the Fourth of July.
Visitors to public lands should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires. To reduce the risk, please consider the following:
- Fireworks are never allowed on federal public lands during summer months. Even smaller devices like sparklers can start fires.
· Before going camping, learn of any fire restrictions in place and never leave a campfire unattended. Build campfires in cleared open areas, and keep water and a shovel nearby. Make sure campfires are out and cool to the touch before leaving the area.
- When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in some type of an ashtray.
- Avoid driving and parking in tall grass or on roads with heavy fine fuels accumulations. Exhaust particles, hot exhaust pipes and hot catalytic converters can start grass fires. Maintain proper tire pressure. Driving on exposed wheel rims can throw sparks.
- Sparks from dragging chains, and exhaust from ATVs and motorcycles, can start grass fires. Spark arresters are required on all recreational and portable gasoline-powered equipment.
Our public lands are precious resources we all use and enjoy. This Fourth of July holiday, let the night skies be your show.