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The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District enters fire season Monday, starting at a ‘moderate’ danger level

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – All areas protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will enter fire season Monday at 12:01 a.m., the agency announced Friday.

As of Monday, the county’s fire danger level will be “Moderate,” and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one) in MH-4 and MH-1 (Hood River and Wasco County).

Earlier this year, fire managers were optimistic about this year’s fire season due to higher-than-normal snowpack. However, the decline in spring rainfall, rising temperatures and windy conditions have caused significant drying of fine fuels in the district, ODF said.

So far this year, the district has experienced 16 fires, half of which were escaped debris burns. Burning debris is the leading cause of human-caused fires. Most counties in Central Oregon have also implemented bans on burning debris. Be sure to check fire restrictions in your area. ODF recommends covering your pile until the rainy fall season, when it is safer to burn.

With that in mind, the Central Oregon District will begin implementing restrictions based on fire danger level. A moderate fire danger level limits the following activities:

• No burning of debris, including piles and burn barrels, unless permitted by the local forest ranger.

• No fireworks on or within 1/8 mile of ODF protected land.

• Exploding targets and tracer munitions, or bullets with a pyrotechnic charge in the base, are prohibited.

• Do not smoke while traveling or working in a surgical area.

In addition to the fire prevention requirements under IFPL I (one), the following will come into effect:

• During breaks and at the end of the operating period, a fire watch of at least one hour is mandatory.

Additional fire restrictions or regulations may apply depending on the different fire risks during the fire season.

The Oregon Department of Forestry is urging residents not to become complacent in wildfire prevention. The fewer human-caused fires we have, the less strain on district resources. For tips on preventing wildfires, visit www.keeporegongreen.org

For more information about the Central Oregon District and fire season rules, visit https://odfcentraloregon.com/. Check your local restrictions at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx.

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