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Wildfire season

The 2019 fire season will begin Monday, according to a declaration from Klamath and Lake county officials. Forecasted warming and drying weather prompted the declaration 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 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands west of the Gerber Reservoir Area in Klamath County.

The declaration restricts debris burning and timber harvest operations. 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.

Private lands within the Klamath River Canyon area from Keno to the Oregon/California state line are also in a regulated closure. The closure stipulates:

1) Possession of the following fire-fighting equipment is required while traveling in the forest, except on state and county roads: an axe (having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than 2 pounds), a shovel (having a handle not less than 26 inches in length and a blade of not less than 8 inches in width), and one gallon of water or one 2 1/2-pound or larger fire extinguisher.

2) Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads. Smoking is prohibited while working or traveling in an industrial operation area.

3) Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, are permitted only at posted and designated sites.

4) Non-Industrial Chainsaw usage is prohibited between 1 and 8 p.m.

5) Fireworks are prohibited within the closure area.