New fire-prevention rules hit logging, commercial operations

With fire danger continuing to flicker upward, the Oregon Department of Forestry is increasing the fire prevention measures on industrial operations in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Beginning Wednesday, logging sites and other commercial operations will be under industrial fire precaution Level 2.

Those increased restrictions prohibit the use of fire in any form as well as the use of power saws, except at loading sites, along with cable yarding, blasting and welding or cutting of metal between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Commercial operators working on forestlands also are required to have fire-suppression equipment on site and provide watchman service.

"We're getting into drier, hotter weather and it has been quite awhile since we've had any rain," said Greg Alexander, an assistant forester for the department's district office in Central Point.

"It's dry enough now even at higher elevations that fire could become a problem," he added, referring to the fact that industrial operations often occurs in those areas.

Meanwhile, local residents are urged to use caution when engaged in any outdoor activity, from barbecuing to cutting weeds, Alexander said. For more information on all fire restrictions, see

ODF firefighters protect state, county, private and U.S. Bureau of Land Management forest and brush lands.

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