Cooler temperatures, increased humidity and a handful of autumn storms are providing enough relief to allow further reduction in restrictions and fire danger in South Central Oregon.
Effective Monday, Oct. 11, the agencies of the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership will lowered the fire danger from “high” to “moderate”. Despite this change, fuels remain dry and caution is needed to prevent wildfires.
The Oregon Department of Forestry Klamath-Lake District regulated use closure, which regulates things like the use of campfires, chainsaws and other activities that could start a wildfire, have been lifted. Regulations remain in place restricting debris burning and timber harvest operations. All outdoor debris burning is still prohibited.
“The recent light moisture and cooler temperatures we received last week going into this week is assisting us but not near enough to put us out of declared fire season,” said Randall Baley, ODF protection unit forester in Klamath Falls. “As hunting season and other fall outdoor activities arrive, please be fire safe and careful at all times.”
Restrictions on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Sheldon-Hart Mountain and Klamath Basin national wildlife refuge complexes and most of the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District were lifted Oct. 1.
Public use restrictions remain in place on BLM lands in the Klamath River Canyon.
The industrial fire precaution level also lowered Monday from Level II to Level I. This means fire precaution requirements are still in effect, including a 1-hour fire watch following work that could spark a wildfire. Under IFPL I, chainsaw use is permitted any time of day on federal lands, including the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Lakeview District BLM.
The emergency fire closure orders for the Bootleg and Cougar Peak fires are still in effect on the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
“The SCOFMP agencies are still seeing wildfires this fall, including a small lightning fire Friday on the Lakeview Ranger District,” said Interagency deputy fire management officer Coley Neider. “While we are still prepared for these fires, fuels are still very dry and can carry fire. We need the continued efforts of the public to prevent wildfires this fall.”