Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017 Fire Season Goes Into Effect 6/5/17

NEWS RELEASE - Thursday, June 01, 2017 (99-04) 

Contact: Randall Baley (ODF) (541) 883-5681, 

Dennis Lee (ODF) (541) 883-5681, Dustin Gustaveson (ODF) (541) 947-6311

Present warming and drying weather conditions have prompted fire officials in Klamath and Lake Counties to declare fire season beginning Monday, June 5, 2017 at 1201 A.M. on lands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry. This affects all private, county, and state forest lands, as well as those Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands west of the Gerber Reservoir Area in Klamath County.  
 “The visual “green-up” of live vegetation, cooler temperatures and cloudiness with periods of rainy weather this late spring have masked the dry conditions in the wildland fuels,” stated Randall Baley, Protection Unit Forester Oregon Department of Forestry. “The current warm and dry weather with even warmer temperatures forecasted going into mid June will dry out the fuels rapidly to warrant starting fire season at this time.”
The “Fire Season in effect” declaration puts into place regulations restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations. Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath County have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning.  Forest operations that require a Permit to Operate Power Driven Machinery now are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman serviceon privately owned forest land.   Declaring “Fire Season” also prohibits the release of sky lanterns, the discharge of exploding targets or the discharge of tracer ammunition during this period.

In addition to the “Declaration of Fire Season”, ODF and the Klamath Resource Area (BLM) will be placing the Klamath River Canyon area from the Keno Dam, downstream to the Oregon/California border in a “Regulated Closure”.  Under this Regulated Closure it is unlawful to be in violation of the following requirements and restrictions:
·         Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one axe, one shovel, and one gallon of water or 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. 
·         Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.
·         Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking and warming fires. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
·         Chain saw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00pm and 8:00pm.
·         Use of fireworks is prohibited.
The Klamath River Canyon has been placed under this Regulated Closure due to its lower elevation, drier fuels, and steep terrain.
Klamath-Lake District is available to assist in keeping people informed of current and changing conditions for our area.

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