Fire danger leads to tighter forest rules

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— Increased fire danger has prompted an increase in the public-use restrictions for the Umatilla National Forest.

The restrictions for use of the use of internal combustion engines, chain saws and generators went into effect today. Restrictions on campfires and smoking are already in effect.

Beginning Tuesday, operating an internal combustion engine, such as a chain saw, is prohibited. Firewood cutting is not allowed. The restriction applies to internal combustion engines other than a motor vehicle.

Generators will only be allowed in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material, or when fully contained within a pickup truck bed that is devoid of all flammable material. Factory-installed generators in a recreational vehicle are allowed provided the generator exhaust discharge is located in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

In a release, Brian Goff, fire staff officer, said hot, dry weather have caused conditions to dry out “to where we are ripe for wildfires locally.

“Forecasted weather conditions are prime for wildfires and we really need to reduce the risk for human caused fires,” he said.

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