Upcoming and forecasted warming and drying weather conditions have prompted fire officials in Klamath and Lake Counties to declare fire season beginning Monday, June 10, 2019 at 12:01 AM on lands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Walker Range Forest Patrol Association.
This affects all private, county, and state forest lands, as well as those Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands west of the Gerber Reservoir area in Klamath County.
“The visual and later “green-up” of live vegetation, cooler temperatures and cloudiness with periods of rainy weather this late spring have allowed us to get deeper into June official start,” stated Randall Baley, Protection Unit Forester, Oregon Department of Forestry. “The forecasted warm and dry weather with even warmer temperatures forecasted going into later June will dry out the fuels rapidly to warrant starting fire season at this time.”
The “Fire Season in effect” declaration puts into place regulation restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations. Wildland and structural fire protection agencies in Klamath County have agreed to prohibit all outdoor debris burning. Forest operations that require a Permit to Operate Power Driven Machinery now are required to have fire tools, on-site water supply, and watchman service on privately owned forestland. Declaring “Fire Season” also prohibits the release of sky lanterns, the discharge of exploding targets or the discharge of tracer ammunition during this period.
In addition to the “Declaration of Fire Season,” ODF will be placing the private lands within the Klamath River Canyon area from Keno to the state line in a “Regulated Closure.” The closure stipulates the following:
Possession of the following fire-fighting equipment is required while traveling in the forest except on state and country roads: an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.
“Axe” means a wood cutting tool having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than 2 pounds.
Shovel: means a digging tool having a handle not less than 26 inches in length and a blade of not less than 8 inches in width.
Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads. Smoking is prohibited while working or traveling in an industrial operation area
Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires are permitted only at posted and designated sites.
Non-industrial chainsaw usage is prohibited between 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Fireworks are prohibited within the closure area.
The Klamath River canyon has been placed under this regulated clusre due to its lower elevation, drier fuels and steep terrain.
Additional information on BLM and/or USFS you can call Bureau of Land Management, Lakeview District and the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
Press release provided from the Oregon Department of Forestry .