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Fire danger shifts to high on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

 Posted: 3:10 PM June 23, 2014

The fire danger level on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has jumped to high because record drought conditions in the region have left vegetation dry and easily ignited.

"Any unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape," forest officials said in a news release. "High-intensity burning may develop on slopes, or in concentrations of fine fuels. Fire have the potential to become serious and difficult to control."

U.S. Forest Service officials issued the warning today, along with a laundry list of acts prohibited on the federal lands.

Fires are only allowed in designated recreation sites in approved fire rings, fireplaces or stoves. The Sky Lakes Wilderness and the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness are exempt from the ban. Commercial stoves that use liquid fuel or propane are permitted.

Smoking is prohibited except inside enclosed vehicles and buildings, designated recreation sites, aboard a watercraft or in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of fuels.

Welding or operating an acetylene torch or similar type of device with an open flame is also prohibited. Violating any of the prohibitions can mean up to $5,000 in fines for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or up to six months in prison.

The fire danger rose to high on 1.8 million additional acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands in Southern Oregon two weeks ago, which came with similar restrictions. Restrictions because of fire danger on the Rogue River's Wild & Scenic Section went into effect last week.

For more information on restrictions and daily conditions, visit www.ormic.org or call 1-800-267-3126.

— Ryan Pfeil


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