Fire restrictions increase today

Industrial operations such as logging on forest and brush lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry firefighters will be further restricted beginning today in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Recent hot weather with more on the horizon prompted the change, officials said.

Citing increased fire danger, officials have raised the industrial fire precaution to level two, which bans the use of power saws except at log loading sites between 1 and 8 p.m.

Other increased restrictions during that seven-hour period preclude the use of cable yarders, blasting and welding or cutting of metal. No fires are allowed at any time because of the high fire danger.

In addition, commercial operators on forestlands are required to have fire suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.

There are no changes to non-industrial activity on state-protected land. Restrictions on those lands include no cutting of dry grass from 1 to 8 p.m., a ban of off-road motorized vehicle use and no campfires allowed in undeveloped campgrounds.

For a list of all restrictions, check out

Although local wildfire activity has been relatively light, thanks to an unusually cool and wet June, the local woods and brushlands are drying out quickly, said Greg Alexander, assistant district forester.

"People need to be careful out there," he said.

The state firefighters protect state, county, private and U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands in the two counties.

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