Due to the continued hot and dry weather, the Douglas Forest Protective Association will impose Public Fire Restrictions, also known as a “Regulated Use Closure” effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 1st. The Public Fire Restrictions will be in effect on all 1.6 million acres of private, county, state, and BLM lands protected by DFPA. The Industrial Fire Precaution level (IFPL) will remain at IFPL 1 for the Douglas District.
The Douglas County Fire Prevention Cooperative is spreading the word to take extra caution this year to not only keep fires from starting, but also to keep everyone safe. The following is a list of fire prevention tips for residents using fireworks.
Keep It Legal
Oregon law prohibits fireworks that fly, explode, or move across the ground more than 6 feet. Fireworks purchased by mail order, in other states or on Native American reservations may be illegal in Oregon. This includes popular items such as bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, and M-80s. To keep it legal, purchase all fireworks at a licensed Oregon fireworks stand.
Under Oregon law, those discharging illegal fireworks can be fined and/or arrested and can have their illegal fireworks seized. In addition, those discharging any type of firework, legal or illegal, can be held liable for damages resulting from their improper use. Oregon law also holds parents liable for damage caused by their children and allows fire agencies to charge for the cost of suppressing fires caused by fireworks.
The Douglas Forest Protective Association announced that the 2016 fire season will officially begin Wednesday, June 8th at 12:01 a.m. on all private, county, state, and BLM lands protected by DFPA. The declaration of fire season imposes certain fire restrictions on both the general public and industrial forest workers to help prevent wildfires.
With the declaration of fire season, exploding targets, tracer ammunition, and sky lanterns are prohibited on, or within, one-eighth of a mile of DFPA protected land.
The start of fire season also means the end of unregulated outside debris burning for rural Douglas County residents. Due to poor burning conditions which have come earlier this year than normal, burn permits for debris piles and burn barrels will not be issued by DFPA or Douglas County Fire District #2. Those wishing to burn yard debris before Wednesday are encouraged to exercise caution and are reminded to never leave the burn unattended. In addition, fire officials recommend checking any debris piles that were burned earlier this spring. If not properly extinguished, burn piles have the potential of smoldering for weeks, or even months, before popping back to life on a warm, windy day.