On Wednesday June 29th, Deschutes County Commissioners voted to impose public use restrictions on unprotected lands within the county and on all county-owned land to help prevent human-caused wildfires. The restrictions go into effect immediately.
Unprotected lands are defined as unincorporated lands that are not a part of a Rural Fire Protection District or protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Landowners can visit https://maps.deschutes.org/custom/basic/PublicUseRestrictions.html to review regulations and see if they apply to their property.
The following restrictions are now in place:
- Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads. Note: ORS 476.715 prohibits throwing away any lighted tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, matches or other lighted material, on any forestland, private road, public highway or railroad right of way within this state.
- Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
- Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.
- Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. At all other times, the area is to be cleared of flammable vegetation and the following fire equipment is required: one axe, one shovel, and one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher in good working order.
- Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.
- Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.
- Mowing of dried grass with power-driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
- Use of fireworks is prohibited.
- The release of sky lanterns is prohibited.
- The discharging of exploding targets or tracer ammunition is prohibited.
- Blasting is prohibited.
- Any electric fence controller in use shall be: a) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and b) Operated in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions.
Information and maps of regulated closures for the Oregon Department of Forestry can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx
Information and maps of public use restrictions on Deschutes National Forest can be found at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon