ODF crews, South Fork inmate crews ready for fire activity

As temperature records are broken and locals everywhere seek ways to stay cool, Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews and inmates incarcerated at the South Fork Forest Camp are on standby in case of wildfire in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests and surrounding areas.

Most of the region’s forests in and around the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests moved to high fire danger Friday morning. Zones NW2 and 3 were placed at high fire danger — and IFPL 2 — while the more coastal NW1 remained at moderate and IFPL 1.

“It will be critical that everyone gives their focused attention over the next several days, as we are quickly rolling into August conditions,” said Oregon Department of Forestry Astoria District Forester Dan Goody in an email to industrial forestry operators.

Goody said that two inmate crews from South Fork Forest Camp would be on standby if needed in the event of wildfire, as would a helicopter in Salem while all local ODF units were slated to be on duty over the weekend.

A crew of Washington County firefighters from Banks Fire District 13, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue returned home Friday morning from a deployment in Central Oregon, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

With the fire danger placed at high, OHV trails close, restricting such activities to maintained gravel roads in the designated OHV areas of Browns Camp, Lyda Camp, Jordan Creek, Trask and Diamond Mill.

Campfires must only be used in the ODF-installed metal fire grates unless otherwise posted, unless recreational users are using propane or gas camp stoves or propane or gas barbecue grills.

A series of public fire restrictions for the general public aim to reduce the chance of wildfie, and the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels system for industrial users of forestland, such as logging operations, aims for the same goal.