BEND, Ore. -

Due to hot and dry weather conditions and the low amount of live fuel moisture, the Bend Fire Department, in conjunction with Oregon Department of Forestry said Friday it has increased the level of fire danger to "extreme."

Fires under extreme conditions begin and spread quickly, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious for a large destructive wildfire to occur.

Fire danger signs within the city limits of Bend and Deschutes County Rural Fire District #2 will reflect this change.

As reminder to citizens, no backyard, commercial or agricultural burning is allowed within city limits of Bend and Deschutes County Rural Fire District #2, and will strictly be enforced. A violation for open burning is punishable by a Class B civil infraction citation, with a base amount of $460 in the city, and a Class A Infraction of $500 in the 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 and we ask everyone to be very careful, especially now, as conditions are extremely dry.