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Hot, dry weather prompts Industrial Fire Precaution 'Level IV', effective Friday

The sky in Roseburg as seen from Harvard Avenue at 9:45 a.m. on August 30, 2017. (SBG)

ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Douglas Forest Protective Association and Umpqua National Forest announced Wednesday that Industrial Fire Precaution Level IV will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 1, throughout the Umpqua National Forest and on all lands protected by DFPA.

Fire danger rating continues at “Extreme”. The increase in IFPL is due to a combination of hot, dry conditions and low-moisture forest fuels which are prime to burn.

Under IFPL IV, all industrial actions are prohibited. Industrial actions include cable yarding, use of power saws, logging operations using tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarded or shovel, mechanized loading or hauling, blasting, welding or cutting of metal, or any other spark-emitting operation not yet mentioned. Also included in the shutdown are public works construction and road maintenance.

IFPL IV also means individuals with personal and commercial use firewood permits for the Umpqua National Forest are prohibited from using power saws.

The following restrictions under DFPA’s Public Use Restrictions remain in effect and are unchanged:

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, or at other designated sites.

• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated sites. In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

• Debris burning, including burn barrels, are prohibited.

• The use of fireworks are prohibited.

• Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for the culture and harvest of agricultural crops. In addition, each vehicle traveling on forest roads must have a shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

• The use of power saws, the mowing of dry grass and the cutting, grinding or welding of metal is currently prohibited.

In addition to DFPA’s Public Use Restrictions, state laws prohibit the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition during fire season and the use of sky lanterns are prohibited year-round.

Public use restrictions also remain in place for the Umpqua National Forest. Campfires within the Umpqua National Forest boundaries are allowed only in Forest Service constructed fire rings or fireplaces in designated campgrounds. No charcoal briquettes are allowed outside of the fire rings or fire places. No campfires in wilderness. People are encouraged to use propane stoves or backpacker stoves. Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle or while in watercraft while on water.

For more information, including a list of the designated recreation sites where campfires are permitted, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/umpqua/alerts-notices or call the Fire Information Line at (541) 670-5289.

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