Fire danger rising to extreme

ODF logoHIGH TEMPERATURES, LOW HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS

The heat is on! A wave of hot dry windy weather is expected to hit the region Thursday and last through Saturday. Just a single spark under these conditions could lead to a significant and costly wildfire. Fire managers are reminding the public to be extra careful with fire as they seek ways to stay cool.

"Everyone will be looking for ways to beat the heat. Remember to take extra precaution with fires or anything that could start a wildfire," said Oregon Department of Forestry Unit Forester Michael Curran.

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a fire weather watch for high temperatures, gusty winds and low relative humidity. The fire weather watch will be in effect from late Thursday night through late Friday night.

Fire season is in effect and fire managers have raised the fire danger level to extreme. Normal summer weather has dried forests, brush and grasses. The impending heat wave poses a significant fire weather threat and any fire starts could spread rapidly. Curran says, "We don't experience extreme fire danger very often. When it's this hot and dry, we need everyone to think twice before using anything that might emit a spark."

The following activities are prohibited during extreme fire danger.

* Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other designated locations.
* Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at locations designated by the forester. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
* The use of powersaws is prohibited during extreme fire danger.
* Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
* The mowing of dried, cured grass is prohibited.
* Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for the culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
* 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 2-1/2 lb.or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2-1/2 lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
* Use of fireworks is prohibited.

 

McKenzie River Reflections

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.