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September brings further fire restrictions

On Deschutes National Forest

   Beginning this month, fire officials will restrict certain activities throughout the Deschutes National Forest, except in designated wilderness areas.
   "These restrictions are needed because a lack of recent significant moisture is causing forest vegetation to be increasingly dry and flammable," said John Allen, forest supervisor.
   "In addition, local and regional firefighting resources are low because persistent large fires throughout our local area and the nation are using those resources," said Allen. "My concern is if we have additional fires, we will be challenged to get resources to them quickly and keep them small."
   The following activities are now prohibited on the Deschutes National Forest, except in all designated wilderness areas (Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Three Sisters, and Diamond Peak):
   . Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, including a charcoal fire, except at campfire rings at specific posted, developed and designated campgrounds.
   . Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
   . Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
   . Using an explosive.
   . Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine in violation of Industrial Fire Precaution Level directives. An IFPL 3 is currently in place for the forest, which means that chainsaws and other equipment can only be used between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
   . Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
   . Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
   . Possessing or using a motorized vehicle off national forest system roads, except when operating in compliance with the travel management rule and the Motor Vehicle Use Map.
   . Violating any state law specifically concerning burning, fires or which is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire.
   "We know the Labor Day holiday, the beginning of bow hunting season, and the start of Matsutake mushroom season are busy times for visitors to the Deschutes National Forest," said Allen. "However, we need to make every effort to reduce the chance for human-caused fire starts to protect local communities, the forest, and people visiting the forest."
   The public use restrictions on the Deschutes National Forest are similar to those currently in place on the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM. For more information on these or other public use restrictions, visit the Deschutes National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon.