Central Oregon – Beginning Monday, July 3, 2023, at 12:01 a.m., all lands managed by the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests and the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will move to an Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (IFPL). This level restricts hours of operation for permitted commercial and industrial operations on public lands to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. and is known as a “partial hootowl.” The restrictions at this level apply to the use of power saws (except at commercial loading sites), cable yarding, blasting, welding, and cutting of metal.
Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are based on current and expected fire conditions. Fire precaution levels begin with Level I at the start of fire season and can increase to Level IV as the fire danger increases. It is the responsibility of the individual operating on public land to know the precaution level for the day and to take the correct fire precautions.
Forecasted hot and dry conditions across Central Oregon have also prompted the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Prineville District BLM to increase the Fire Danger Rating level to HIGH. The Fire Danger Rating System lets recreational users and visitors to public lands know to increase their level of caution while in the forests or rangelands. Under HIGH conditions, smaller dead vegetation ignites easily and unattended campfires or debris fires are likely to escape. Any fire that starts could be difficult to control if not caught while small.
For more information about the Industrial Fire Precaution Level system, please visit the Deschutes National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/home/?cid=stelprdb5270159. Information on the IFPL or current restrictions can be obtained by contacting your Central Oregon Fire Use Information Line at 1-800-523-4737.
As we move into a hot and dry holiday weekend, fire managers remind the public that we all have a critical role to play in human-caused wildfire prevention. Campfires should never be left unattended and should be cold to the touch before you walk away. Trailer chains should be secured to avoid dragging and creating sparks. Avoid parking on or driving over dry grass and be sure to properly dispose of smoking materials.
For current wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire. Call 9-1-1 to report a wildfire.