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Fire danger rises to 'high' in Jackson, Josephine counties

The fire danger level in Jackson and Josephine counties will rise to high on Monday, affecting activities on 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands in Southern Oregon, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported.

Debris pile and barrel burning will no longer be allowed, and fireworks will be banned on forestland. In addition, the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, will be prohibited.

When the danger level rises, campfires are allowed only at designated campgrounds, and motorized vehicles can be driven only on improved roads. In forested, brushy or dry-grass areas, smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads.

Equipment that could spark fires must be shut down during the hottest part of the day. Between 1 and 8 p.m., chainsaw use, mowing of dry grass, and cutting, grinding or welding metal is banned. During approved hours, chainsaw users must have an ax, shovel and fire extinguisher at least eight ounces or larger at the job site.

Electric fences must be tested and approved by a nationally recognized laboratory or be certified by the U.S. Department of Consumer and Business Services.

Restrictions for the Rogue River's Wild & Scenic section also will go into effect June 16. Smoking will be restricted to boats on the water or on sand or gravel bars between the water and high-water marks that have no vegetation. All travelers should carry a shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket. Open fires are prohibited, but portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels, or charcoal fires built in raised fire pans, will be allowed on sand bars between the water and the high-water mark.

See www.swofire.com for more information.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.