USFS, BLM raise fire precaution level
Industrial Fire Precaution Level III
All lands administered by the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests and the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management have moved to an Industrial Fire Precaution Level III.
Level III is a partial shutdown of operations and the following activities are prohibited except as indicated:
. Cable yarding -- except 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. local time:
. 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 metal;
. Any other spark-emitting operation not specifically mentioned.
Fire precaution levels begin with Level I at the start of fire season and can increase to Level IV as the fire danger increases.
Each fire precaution level requires adherence to the restrictions applied under all lower levels in addition to the limits placed by the current level. Operators may apply for waivers from the responsible agency.
Industrial fire precaution levels are based on current and expected fire conditions, and govern permitted commercial and industrial operations on public lands such as woodcutting, off-road travel, road maintenance, welding, and timber-cutting operations including felling, cable yarding, and loading.
It is the responsibility of the individual operating on public land to know the precaution level for the day and to take the correct fire precautions.
For more information about the Industrial Fire Precaution Level system, visit the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon and follow the link on the bottom right for "alerts and warnings."