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Industrial fire restrictions increase this week

More logging operation restrictions are going into effect as fire danger rises in Jackson and Josephine counties. Photo of the Redwood Highway fire courtesy of the Oregon Department of Forestry

Fire prevention regulations for logging and other industrial operations will increase Wednesday due to rising fire danger.

Industrial Fire Precaution Level III will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday on land in Jackson and Josephine counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District.

Banned activities between 1-8 p.m. will include using power saws at loading sites; loading or hauling of any product or material; blasting; welding, cutting or grinding of metal and any other spark-emitting operation not specifically listed.

Some activities are allowed starting at 8 p.m., overnight and before 1 p.m. if mechanized equipment capable of constructing a fire line is immediately available to quickly reach and effectively attack a fire start.

Those allowed activities include ground-based operations (tractor/skidder, feller-buncher, forwarder, or shovel logging operations); power saws on ground-based operations; rotary head saw feller-bunchers with a continuous fire watch; non-rotary head saw feller-bunchers; and tethered logging or winch, cable or traction-assisted systems that allow ground-based timber harvesting machines to operate on steep slopes.

Cable yarding systems are not allowed, except gravity-operated logging systems using nonmotorized carriages or approved motorized carriages may operate between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended at least 10 feet above the ground (except the line between the carriage and the chokers.)

For more information about the ODF’s fire season public and industrial restrictions, visit www.swofire.com or the district’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ODFSouthwest, or call the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you.

To reach the Central Point office, call 541-664-3328. To reach the Grants Pass office, call 541-474-3152.