Fire Danger & Industrial Fire Precaution Levels Increase on the Rogue River - Siskiyou National Forest

Release Date: Aug 25, 2011   Southwest Oregon

Contact: Virginia Gibbons, Public Information Officer, (541) 618-2113

Based on current and forecasted weather and indices, the Rogue River-Siskiyou is moving into extreme fire danger ratings across the entire forest. This rating includes associated public use restrictions on the Illinois River and the Wild and Scenic portion of the Rogue River. In addition, the forest is also moving into Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) II, which restricts industrial operations during the hottest hours of the day.

Effective at midnight tonight on Thursday, August 26, 2011, the fire danger rating moves into extreme and the following two public use restrictions (Order No. RSF-170) become effective:

  • In the Wild and Scenic River section of the Rogue River between Marial and Watson Creek, all open fires, including charcoal fires, are prohibited. 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. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation. A shovel and a one-gallon or larger bucket are required for each party.
  • The second restriction prohibits camp fires outside of designated Forest Service fire rings along the Illinois River Road (Forest Road #4103), and also prohibits parking or leaving a vehicle along the road. This restriction is in place to ensure ingress/egress for emergency vehicles.

Effective at midnight on Friday, August 27, 2011, IFPL (Level II) goes into effect. Level II, referred to as "partial hootowl", prohibits industrial operations including power saws (except at loading sites), cable yarding, blasting and welding or cutting of metal, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time. These restrictions apply to all contractors and permit holders, including those with permits to cut personal use firewood. 

Visitors are encouraged to be cautious with fire while out in the woods and to make sure campfires are completely extinguished before leaving. Allow the fuel in the campfire to burn down as much as possible. Spread the coals out within the fire pit and wait until the flames have died out. Pour water on the coals and embers in short bursts to avoid steam and ash. Stir repeatedly with a shovel after applying water. Repeat until there is no more steam and the hissing sound stops. Finally, shovel dirt on top of the fire and mix it in thoroughly. Check the fire by hovering the back of your hand just above it. If the fire is still warm, continue to add water, dirt and stir. Repeat until you can no longer feel heat from the fire. Remember, if you are responsible for starting a fire, you can be charged with the costs of putting it out. 

Smokey Bear says, "Enjoy your outings to the woods and remember, be safe and careful with fire."