LA GRANDE, Ore. – While Spring 2022 has brought more precipitation than the previous few years, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is seeing vegetation drying occurring across the Northeast Oregon District. Fuel conditions are changing rapidly as the summer weather pattern sets in. This change in weather conditions has prompted ODF to begin fire season on private forest lands in northeast Oregon.
FIRE SEASON will begin at 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 1 for forest and range lands protected by ODF Northeast Oregon District. “We’ve seen a little reprieve this spring and early summer. Fire Season has been announced in June for the past few years, so it’s been good to have some delay this year.” Said Matt Howard, District Forester.
The fire season declaration places fire prevention restrictions on landowners and public. Additionally, fire prevention regulations on industrial logging and forest management activities are put into place. Lands affected include private, state, county, municipal, and tribal lands in Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Umatilla counties along with small portions of Malheur, Morrow, and Grant counties within the Northeast Oregon Forest Protection District. This area encompasses approximately 2 million acres of protected lands.
Howard states “Those spring storms have provided some much-needed moisture. However, this moisture has caused a lot of growth in our fine fuels, such as grasses, small brush, and shrubs. These are often our carrier fuels and are more susceptible to quickly drying and becoming ready-to-burn faster.”
During Fire Season:
- Debris burning is by permit only. To obtain a burn permit for a debris pile or burn barrel, please call your local ODF office.
Baker City Sub-Unit: (541) 523-5831, La Grande Unit: (541) 963-3168, Pendleton Unit: (541) 276-3491, Wallowa Unit: (541) 886-2881
- The use of exploding targets, tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
- Logging and other industrial operations must meet requirements for fire prevention, such as fire tools, water supply, and watchman service when those operations are occurring on lands protected by ODF. Contact your local Stewardship Forester at any NEO District office for more information.
- Campfires must be DEAD OUT! Recreationists are reminded that campfires need to be attended and fully extinguished before being left. Get permission from the landowner prior to starting a campfire.
- The use of Sky Lanterns is always illegal in Oregon.
To report a fire, dial 9-1-1.
Make sure you know the fire restrictions before you head out. Check with your local Forest Service office for fire regulations on National Forest land, or BLM office for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Information on Public-Use Restrictions on the Oregon Department of Forestry, Umatilla National Forest and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest can be found at http://bmidc.org/index.shtml under Current Information: Fire Restrictions.