With dry conditions expected to continue in Central Oregon and fire suppression resources limited due to numerous wildfires in Oregon and Washington, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest, including the Crooked River National Grassland, are implementing a total campfire restriction. Effective 12:01 a.m. August 18, 2015 (Tuesday), all open fires, including charcoal fires, will be prohibited on all lands administered by the Deschutes National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland, and the Prineville District, BLM. There are no exceptions for developed or hosted campgrounds.
In addition to campfire restrictions, smoking remains restricted to an enclosed vehicle or building, in a designated campground, in boats on lakes and rivers, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable material. Portable cooking stoves or lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel may still be used in all areas. Officials also want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks continue to be prohibited on all federal lands.
At this time there are no restrictions on motorized travel on BLM or FS roads in Central Oregon; however, fire officials want to remind visitors about the dangers of driving through or parking on vegetation. The hot undercarriage of a vehicle can easily ignite, not only burning the vehicle but also spreading to nearby vegetation. At this time, visitors are asked to avoid driving on two-track roads with vegetation down the center, and to park in areas clear of vegetation. Make sure vehicles carry a container of water or a fire extinguisher.
Before putting public use restrictions in place officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to implement fire restrictions. Every year lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on our firefighting resources, and put our wildlands, our firefighters, and our communities at risk. Fires caused through carelessness or negligence only increase the threat to life and livelihood, and place an even greater burden on already busy firefighters. Every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.