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ODF, ODOT stress fire danger on highway message boards

The Oregon Department of Forestry is collaborating with the Oregon Department of Transportation to highlight the extreme fire danger in much of Oregon on highway messaging boards starting Friday.

The message "Extreme Fire Danger: Use Caution" will be seen on boards along major highways in the state. These include I-5, I-84 and State Highway 97 through central Oregon and Highway 20 from Albany to Ontario. The messages will be shown throughout the summer during times of peak wildfire danger.

The majority of wildfires in Oregon are caused by humans, according to Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields with the Oregon Department of Forestry in Salem.

"Taking extra care to avoid any activity which might spark a fire is especially important in summer. By August, vegetation is dry and can readily catch fire even from small sparks," he said.

Drivers should not toss cigarette butts out windows and avoid parking on dry grass, which may ignite from heat from their vehicle. For a full list of restrictions when traveling, recreating or working in forestland, visit the Oregon Department of Forestry's Fire Restrictions and Closures web page at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/pages/FireStats.aspx

"We appreciate the Department of Transportation helping us raise awareness among Oregonians and visitors to our state of the extreme fire danger in our forestlands," said Fields. 


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