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State declares start of fire season

With the beginning of the fire season, the fire danger graph will appear in the lower left corner of page one of the Central Oregonian each Thursday, complete with the latest fire condition as reported by the Oregon Department of Forestry
Shortly after midnight, May 24, (12:01 a.m.), all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, Prineville/Sisters and John Day Units went into fire season. This includes Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Gilliam, Wheeler, Morrow, Grant, Harney and Umatilla Counties.
   Burning permits are required on all private forestlands within Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Gilliam, Wheeler, Morrow, Grand, Harney and Umatilla counties, except those rural fire districts where burn bans are in effect. The Oregon Department of Forestry is coordinating with those fire districts and will not issue permits in those areas.
   Fire tools, water supply and a watchman service are required on logging operations occurring on private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Call your local Forest Practices Forester for details.
   If you did burn any yard debris or slash last fall or this spring, please check your piles and remember -- you must have a permit if burning is allowed in your area.
   Many private wildland and structural fire agencies have already implemented burning restrictions in their area and more are starting to do the same.
   Central Oregon is experiencing the second driest season in ten years. Recent fire activity and predicted weather indicate rapidly drying conditions and as a fire prevention measure, fire season must go into effect. Although restrictions and regulations vary from area to area, from private to public lands, around central Oregon, no matter what land you are working, recreating or living on -- it's very dry.
   Fire officials urge residents and visitors to do their part in stopping fires before they start. Please call your local fire agency or the fire agency in the area you are going to visit and find out what restrictions are in place, if any, before striking that match. Open fires may not even be allow
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