Fire danger moves to high
July 25, 2017
Oregon Department of Forestry fire managers on Monday the fire danger level to “high” in ODF’s South Cascade District.
High fire danger means certain activities are prohibited during the hottest and most fire-prone times of the day—the times when a wildfire could be destructive and costly.
“It’s hot and it’s been hot for a while. That put us into high fire danger. We encourage people to be fire safe with anything that could emit a spark. One less spark is one less wildfire,” said Chris Cline, ODF South Cascade district forester.
While the danger level is spiking, local firefighters have been responding to minor fires.
“So far, so good,” said Chad Calderwood, forest protection supervisor.
They reached 30 calls for the season Monday afternoon when they responded to a suspicious fire in a slash pile at Sunnyside Park. The cause of that fire is under investigation. It burned an about 300 square feet.
The biggest call so far was a series of four fires along Highway 228 on July 16. The fires were clustered near Valley View Drive and the west end of Fern Ridge Road and amounted to a little more than a quarter acre. Investigators believe that hot brakes caused the fires.
Fire officials ran a boat patrol over the weekend and spotted numerous campfires, some abandoned, and trash along the shore of Green Peter and Foster lakes.
Normally, Green Peter is lower this time of year, Calderwood said, and campfires may be allowed 50 feet below full pool. But the lake is nearly full, and no campfires are allowed along the shore.
He said the majority of those responsible are not local visitors.
“We’re going to be doing surprise enforcement on the water,” Calderwood said. “The lake’s the big thing right now.”
The following activities are prohibited during high fire danger.
Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and other designated locations.
Open fires are prohibited. Campfires are prohibited except at designated campgrounds with fire rings.
The following activities are only allowed before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.: The use of power saws, cutting, grinding and welding of metal and the mowing of dried, cured grass.
For a complete list of fire restrictions, visit: odfsouthcascade.wordpress.com/home/fire-information/ or contact ODF’s South Cascade Office at (541) 726-3588 or the Sweet Home office at (541) 367-6108.