Regulated Use closure has been declared for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District, which includes Wasco and Hood River counties. The closure is intended to reduce wildfires related to high-risk activities as wildland fuels dry out.  Private, municipal and state-owned lands protected by the Central Oregon District are included in the closure, which also includes the counties Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Grant, Wheeler, Morrow, Gilliam, Lake, Harney and Umatilla.

Activities below are restricted by this closure.  Additional restrictions and the full proclamation can be accessed at www.Oregon.gov.

• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling in a motorized vehicle, except on federal and state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational 2½-pound or larger fire extinguisher, except all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles which must be equipped with an approved spark arrestor in good working condition.

• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads.

• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in designated areas.

• Chainsaw use is prohibited between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8-ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

• Mowing of dried grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 1 and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood.

• The use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited.

As of July 1 open burning, including burn barrels, is prohibited in Hood River and Wasco counties.

The public is also reminded that the use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets is illegal within the District during fire season.  Sky lanterns and other luminaries are prohibited in Oregon.

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