By Shannon McKone on Friday, August 13th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories Eastern/Southeast Oregon News Eastern/Southeast Oregon Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News Northeastern Oregon Top Stories
|BAKER CITY- (Release from Wallowa Whitman National Forest) Just after midnight, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for Wallowa and Whitman Units will be moving back to Level III. This is in response to increased fire danger due to hotter and drier conditions. |
Fire management officials take into consideration the latest data and predictions for wildfire risk when they determine the IFPL. For example, Energy Release Component (ERC) and Ignition Component (IC) indices – which measure the seasonal energy release when vegetation burns and the potential for a fire to ignite – have both increased with the onset of hotter and drier conditions across northeast Oregon. See the red line in the ERC chart below. Indices are forecasted to continue rising over the next few days, approaching the maximum level of past observations. Please note the blue line in the ERC chart. The increase to IFPL III affects the activities of loggers, contractors, and firewood cutting permit holders on the National Forest. IFPL III restricts ALL woodcutting operations, regardless of device being used to cut wood. This restriction is reflected in the fuelwood guide provided when purchasing a firewood permit.Under IFPL III, the following are prohibited as well, EXCEPT as indicated:cable yarding – except that gravity operated logging systems employing nonmotorized carriages may operate between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers.power saws – except power saws may be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time.In addition, the following are permitted to operate between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.:Tractor, skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations where tractors, skidders, or other equipment with a blade capable of constructing fireline are immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start;mechanized loading or hauling of any product or material;blasting;welding or cutting of metalany other spark emitting operation not specifically mentioned.
Phase C Public Use Restrictions remain in effect across the forest. Fire Danger is EXTREME across the National Forest, so conditions are prime for human-caused wildfires. It is everyone’s responsibility to know and follow the current fire-prevention rules on National Forest lands. Please check our website for the details (www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman).
State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast Oregon follow separate restrictions. For more information, contact your local ODF office or visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center website at http://www.bmidc.org.CALL 911 TO REPORT A FIRE