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Fire restrictions planned for next week's expected heat

If you've got some chainsaw work planned, this could be your last weekend to get it done for a while.

Another round of 100-degree heat is expected to reach Southern Oregon next week, and the Oregon Department of Forestry announced that public chainsaw use will be banned at 1 a.m. Monday in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Mowing of dry grass will be prohibited, except for agricultural purposes such as cutting hay, and public use of other power-driven equipment will also be prohibited because of extreme fire danger, state forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said in a media release. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is also prohibited.

The public-use fire danger level remains at "extreme," Ballou said.

The new restrictions cover state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management forestlands that are protected from wildfire by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Loggers will also have their hours of operation restricted as the industrial fire precaution is raised to level III.

Other fire restrictions remain in effect, including the ban on all open burning, including burn barrels. Fireworks are prohibited, and campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds. Vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are not allowed on unimproved roads, and smoking is allowed only in a vehicle while on an improved road.