Fire danger level increases in heat

Very hot weather in southwestern Oregon has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to raise the fire danger level to extreme or "red" on Monday.

As of 1 a.m. Monday, mowing dry grass, using chain saws and cutting, grinding or welding metal will be banned from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Restrictions previously applied only in the afternoon.

The stricter limits are in effect on state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management land in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at level 2.

Also, all open fires, including charcoal fires, will not be allowed in the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River between Grave Creek and Marial. Previously, charcoal fires were allowed. Starting Monday, only portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks. These areas must be naturally free of vegetation.

Other restrictions limiting smoking to inside vehicles on paved road, allowing campfires only in campgrounds and barring off-road vehicular traffic remain in effect.

Forecasters expect daily high temperatures above 100 degrees through next week.

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