The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Office of State Fire Marshal are encouraging Oregonians to use extreme caution as intense heat and dry thunderstorms are predicted for areas around the state.

The increase in heat reduces humidity and fuel moistures allowing fires to ignite quickly and burn hot and fast.

Smoking, off-road driving, campfires, mowing dry grass, the use of power saws, exploding targets and fireworks are activities that are either restricted or prohibited during fire season.

Officials advise contacting local fire districts or Oregon Department of Forestry office for specific restrictions.

Also, to reduce the risk of a wildfire around houses, fire officials suggest removing dead vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around your house. In most cases, trees and healthy plants do not need to be removed; However, trees should be pruned and grass kept short and green to keep fire on the ground and more manageable by fire crews.

Homeowners should also keep access in mind for large fire trucks. Long driveways should be at least 12 feet wide, have 10 feet of vegetation clearance from the centerline, and about 14 feet overhead.

Large vehicle turnaround areas are critical for the public’s safety and firefighter safety.

It is the homeowners' responsibility to protect homes by building a defensible space.

For more information, visit the websites for Keep Oregon Green and Oregon Department of Forestry.

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