Hot temperatures and drying conditions have prompted fire officials for the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland and the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management to raise the Industrial Fire Precaution Level from I to II.
The fire danger level remains at HIGH in Central Oregon and fire officials will raise the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to II at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24. A Level II or “Partial Hoot Owl” means the use of power saws and equipment maintenance may only happen between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Fire officials encourage the public to be diligent with all ignitions sources on public lands, ensuring all cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray or dish of water and spark arrestors are in place on all motorized equipment. Additionally, all motorized recreationists should park in areas cleared of vegetation – the undercarriage of a vehicle can be hot enough to start a fire.
While fire restrictions are not yet in place on most public lands in Central Oregon, the public is encouraged to make sure campfires are built in areas void of light fuels such as grass and that you have an adequate amount of water to ensure that it is ‘dead out’ when you leave the area or go to bed at night. Be sure to ‘Know Before You Go’ if you can have a campfire. Seasonal campfire restrictions are already in place on portions of the Deschutes, John Day and Crooked Rivers as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook.
Officials want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, and the use of explosives and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands. Discharging fireworks on federal public lands is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail.