Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fire Season begins in central Oregon for lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry

[Prineville, Ore.]  Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Central Oregon District (COD) is implementing fire season at 12:01 am on June 7, 2017.  Good winter snowpack delayed the on-set of fire season compared to recent years, however limited spring precipitation and seasonable temperatures have dried wildland fuels.  Adam Barnes, Prineville Assistant Unit Forester explains, “Following a relatively dry May we are seeing fires becoming resistant to control efforts and requiring additional resources to contain.”  Larger fuels are less susceptible to rain showers and will continue to dry with warmer temperatures, making it more difficult for firefighters to gain a handle on any new fire starts.

Abandoned campfires account for ~10% of all wildfires
in 2016 in the Central Oregon District. All preventable.

Landowners are encouraged to check burn piles/areas which were burned earlier this spring or late last fall for any hold-over heat.  With implementation of fire season, burn permits issued earlier this spring may not be valid, check with your local ODF office before burning.  Industrial slash and debris burning will no longer be allowed on ODF protected lands.  In addition to these restrictions, 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.  Recent changes to these requirements are available at www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx.  Contact your local stewardship forester for more information.

Recreationists are asked to put fire prevention into practice and be deliberate with your actions.  Make sure campfires are DEAD OUT!  Never leave a fire unattended.  Clear the area around your campfire, removing flammable material outside the campfire.  Fully extinguish cigarettes and properly dispose of them.  The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  As of January 1, 2017 sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

In 2016 human caused fires accounted for 75% of the fires in the Central Oregon District.  Following fire season restrictions and prevention tips can reduce these ignitions and causing less damage to our natural resources including air, water, and soil.  For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Burning on ODF protected lands in John Day Unit prohibited until fall

Effective immediately all  debris and slash burning on lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) John Day Unit is prohibited.  This includes private ownership in Grant, Morrow, Gilliam, Harney, Umatilla, and Wheeler counties which are part of ODF’s Central Oregon District.  Fuel conditions and changing weather patterns have increased the risk of rapid fire spread from uncontrolled fires.  If you have questions regarding burning on land protected by ODF in the John Day Unit please call 541-575-1139.

Last year in an effort to improve efficiency in the John Day Unit and to streamline burning options for landowners ODF implemented a process where burn permits from ODF are not required when the risk of fire spread is limited and fire season is not in effect.  Following fire season, the John Day Unit will again open burning for landowners to dispose of yard debris, fuel reduction material, and harvesting slash.
This burn ban does not apply to campfires, however following these tips will help reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire resulting from a campfire:
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep the campfire small and manageable.
  • Have water and a shovel available.
  • Clear the area around the campfire to mineral soil.
  • Drown your campfire with water and stir until it is cold to touch to extinguish
  • Report any uncontrolled fire to 9-1-1.
Additional information can be found on ODF’s Fire Prevention webpage:  http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FirePrevention.aspx
Uncontrolled fire, or burning without a permit or during a closed burn season can result in citations and fines, as well as liability for any costs associated with suppression of the fire.  Consider alternatives to burning such as chipping, composting and debris removal programs through your local landfill. 
Contact information for local ODF Offices can be found on the District’s webpage:  www.ODFcentraloregon.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

                                         NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
          Pursuant to ORS 477.250, notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held to receive from any interested persons suggestions, advice, objections or remonstrance’s to the proposed budget for the Central Oregon Forest Protection District.  A hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 1:00 P.M., at the Oregon Department of Forestry – District Office, 3501 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR. Copies of the tentative budget may be inspected during normal working hours.  To ensure the broadest range of services to individuals with disabilities, persons with disabilities requiring special arrangements should contact 541-447-5658 at least two working days in advance.
                                                            OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
                                                            PETER DAUGHERTY, STATE FORESTER


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New Year brings changes to leadership in central Oregon for ODF

David Jacobs, Recently retired Unit Forester in The Dalles Unit
[The Dalles, Ore.]  In December, David Jacobs, Central Oregon District’s (COD) long time Unit Forester in The Dalles, retired after thirty-five fire seasons with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Many landowners and cooperators don’t remember a time when David wasn’t an integral part of the wildfire protection program. Throughout his tenure David has provided leadership during intense and difficult fire seasons, participated on ODF’s Incident Management Teams statewide, and worked with landowners on complex forestry issues in Wasco and Hood River counties.  David will be missed by his “COD Family”. 
Kristin Dodd, Unit Forester in The Dalles Unit.
Kristin Dodd will fill The Dalles Unit Forester postion vacated by David’s retirement.  Kristin is a familiar face to many, having been COD’s Assistant District Forester and most recently Unit Forester in the Prineville-Sisters Unit.  The quick smile and enthusiasm for her job will draw many to Kristin, but her dedication, attention to detail, and highly developed skills will be what folks remember.  Kristin has worked for ODF since 1998, and in COD for the last  eight plus years.  Since starting with ODF Kristin has worked on a forest practices monitoring crew, been a Stewardship Forester, served short term in various positions in State Lands, Salem Staff, and other roles in the agency, in addition to her Unit Forester and Assistant District Forester experience here in COD.  She is also a a  member of ODF Incident Management Team 3.  Kristin is excited to make The Dalles her home with her husband John.

Gordon Foster, new Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester
[Prineville, Ore.]  Gordon Foster was selected as the new Prineville-Sisters Unit Forester.  Gordon’s diverse background includes working as a Forestry Aid, Forest Officer, Assistant Center Manager at Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, engine crew member, and protection supervisor, recently celebrating twenty-five years with ODF.  He has been COD’s Prineville Wildland Fire Supervisor since 2003, and is currently a member of Central Oregon’s Interagency Incident Management Team. As Prineville Wildland Fire Supervisor Gordon has built great relationships with landowners and cooperators in the Prineville-Sisters Unit and those will continue to serve him well as Unit Forester.