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Beginning Friday, area forest managers raised the level of fire danger to extreme.

This level includes the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and all private, county, and state wildlands protected by the Klamath-Lake District, Oregon Department of Forestry.

The increase is due to hot summer weather drying out forest fuels. Fires that start in extremely dry conditions have the potential for rapid fire spread and major damage.

To mitigate those risks, additional requirements have been placed on industrial forest operations. High speed rotary saws and tracked felling/skidding equipment are required to shut down between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. High speed rotary saws are required to have an “operation area observer” visually inspecting the area worked in, as well as additional fire equipment.

The declaration of fire season on June 1 put regulations in place 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 forest land. The release of sky lanterns is prohibited during any time of the year. The discharge of exploding targets and the discharge of tracer ammunition are not permitted during the duration of the fire season.

Additional changes:

n Personal and commercial woodcutters are prohibited from operating power saws. n Building, maintaining, attending, or using campfires or stove fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds/areas. Specific site information may be obtained by contacting your local Forest Service, BLM, or USFWS offices. n Portable cooking stoves utilizing liquefied or bottled fuel sources are allowed. n Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle, building, or developed recreation site. n A motorized vehicle (including ATVs, motorcycles, cars, pickups, etc.) may only be operated on roads where vegetation does not come into contact with the vehicle’s undercarriage. n Motorized vehicles parked off roadways must be in an area barren of flammable material. n Internal combustion engines (generators, etc.) not previously addressed may only be operated within designated campgrounds/areas. n No welding equipment may be used, including acetylene or open flame torches. n All motorized vehicles must carry a large shovel; one gallon of water or a 2.5 pound fire extinguisher; one large axe or pulaski. n Spark arresting devices must be properly installed and maintained on all internal combustion engines.