BEND- Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue along the Cascade Crest and across Central Oregon keeping fire suppression resources responding to an increasing number of wildfires. As a result, the Deschutes, Willamette and Ochoco National Forests will implement campfire restrictions in nearly all Wilderness areas at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 5.
Beginning Saturday, there will be a ban on all open campfires, including charcoal briquette fires, in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Sisters and Diamond Peak Wilderness areas shared by the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests, and the Bridge Creek, Mill Creek and Black Canyon Wilderness areas managed by the Ochoco National Forest. This campfire ban is in addition to current campfire restrictions in place on all Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville Bureau of Land Management managed lands that limit open fires to designated campgrounds and resorts.
In addition to campfire restrictions, smoking is 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 be used in all areas.
Officials want to remind the public that fireworks are prohibited on all federal lands at all times.
Public use restrictions help protect the land, resources, and visitors. 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.
For more information about the Whitewater Fire on the Willamette National Forest, contact Jeanne Klein, PIO for Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 7, at 503-867-7707.
For Central Oregon Fire Information Fire hotline, please call 541-316-7711 or keep up-to-date on fire activity by following us on Twitter at @CentralORFire.