The Oregon Department of Forestry declared the beginning of the 2019 Fire Season on Monday, July 1 in Western Oregon.
The fire season is declared each year when conditions of fire hazard exist. This declaration affects all lands, both public and private, in Northwest Oregon and joins most other regions of Oregon already in fire season.
For industrial forest operations, levels vary from Level 1 to Level 4 with accompanying restrictions on operations to protect forest resources. Restrictions are very similar to last year, with a 1-hour fire watch in Level I, a 2-hour fire watch in Level II, and a 2-hour fire watch in Level III. Level 4 is a shutdown, so no fire watch is required. Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) Zones NW-1, NW-2 & NW-3 are currently at Level 1.
A countywide burn ban is also now in effect. Open debris burning will not be allowed starting July 1. Burn barrels require a burn permit, which can be obtained through the Oregon Department of Forestry or your local fire departments, depending on the location of your residence. For rural residences using burn barrels, only metal barrels in good condition and heavy mesh screens, with holes no larger than ¼ inch are acceptable. A charged water supply and hand tools are required to be on site.
For Public Restrictions, levels move from low (green), to extreme (red). These are indicated on the fire information boards at major roads entering forested areas. A change from previous years is to allow campfires at campsites, both designated campsites such as state parks and state forest campgrounds, and at dispersed sites in low (green). This recognizes that attended campfires adjacent to campsites have a low incident of spread. As conditions dry out, the move to moderate (blue) restricts campfires to designated campsites and dispersed campfires will no longer be allowed.
For more details, contact the Oregon Department of Forestry at 503-945-7200, or your local fire district or fire department.