BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners agreed to declare a state of emergency and impose restrictions on county-managed lands, in an effort to protect from human-caused wildfire. County Forester Ed Keith told the Board the move is important, given the current dry and dangerous conditions. "This is something that was actually enacted last year for the first time, after the Two Bulls Fire and a really dry winter and spring. We’re in a similar situation, but probably actually more dry this year than we were last year."
Keith says the restrictions apply to areas not covered by a fire protection district, where the Sheriff’s office is the only available emergency response. "Enacting these regulations really helps the Sheriff try and get the word out as far as what are the appropriate things to do and not do on these lands during these dry summer months we have ahead of us. This applies to the unprotected lands and county owned lands, it mirrors Dept of Forestry regulations that they’ve enacted, and it mainly serves to give people a guide to what they should think about and how they should use things that may cause fire."
Commissioner Tammy Baney noted that last year, restrictions were lifted earlier than expected, following several periods of rainfall.
Monday's declaration imposes restrictions including limitations on mowing, cutting and chainsaw use, prohibiting fireworks and blasting, and requiring motor vehicles to use only improved roadways. The county has created interactive online map for land owners to see how regulations apply to their property. Click HERE
for more information.