BEND, Ore. - The city of Bend, Deschutes County Rural Fire Protection District #2 and Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties have now entered into Extreme Fire Danger status, officials said Friday.
They noted that the "1000-hour fuel moisture" (large fuels that take 1,000 hours to adjust to drier or moister conditions) is fast approaching record lows and could surpass previous record minimums within the next few days.
"This index gives us a good idea that wildfires will be explosive and intense if an ignition occurs," the statement said.
You can observe the fire danger indices for the tri-county area at the following link: http://www.odf.state.or.us/divisions/protection/fire_protection/NFDRS/regional_average_graphs_menu.htm
This weekend is calling for another round of significant lightning. At present, ODF-protected lands are under Regulated Closure restrictions and will remain in place for the duration of the fire season where conditions warrant.
As reminder to citizens: No backyard, commercial or agricultural burning is allowed within the city limits of Bend and Deschutes County Rural Fire District #2, and will strictly be enforced on the first offense.
A violation for open burning is punishable by a Class B civil infraction citation with a bail amount of $522 in the city, and a Class A Infraction of $500 in the rural fire district.
Warming fires, campfires and cooking fires are allowed in the Bend area, when used within the guidelines set forth in the Bend Fire Department Burning Regulations. These are available at any Bend fire station or on the website at www.bendoregon.gov/fire.
As a reminder to all Central Oregon residents, regulations may vary between fire protection jurisdictions. Please contact your local, state or federal fire agency for specific requirements and closures.
"Your cooperation during this extremely dangerous fire season is needed," Friday's announcement said, "and we ask everyone to be very careful, especially now, as conditions are extremely dry"