▶️ Put them out! 6 campfires abandoned in Central Oregon during holiday weekend


Over two days, six abandoned campfires were discovered this past weekend in Central Oregon. Forest Service officials are using it as a reminder that fire season is here.

“One of them actually had actual flames coming off of it, and a couple others were just abandoned and then not cold enough to the touch to actually be leaving them,” said Kassidy Kern, a public affairs officer with the Ochoco National Forest.

She specified that three of the fires were found in the Deschutes National Forest, two in the Ochoco National Forest and one in the Bureau of Land Management Prineville District. 

Kern told us about two tools required to properly put out a fire: gallons of water and a shovel. 

The water should be used to drown out the fire multiple times. A person should be able to touch the previously burned wood with the back of their hand to determine if the fire pit is safe to leave. If heat is still felt coming off of the wood or it is too hot to touch at all, it is not safe to leave. 

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Kern also mentioned lightning strikes could hit hard this season, meaning fire crews will need to focus on those. 

“Where we have control, we need to take control,” Kern said. “Make sure that we’re eliminating those human-caused starts so that our firefighters can focus on the lightning starts when they happen but also, so that we can keep ourselves and our communities safe.”

We spoke with Ricky Donovan, a recreational camper at Tumalo State Park Campgrounds, and asked how he practiced campfire safety.

“Water. It puts out fires. Have it available,” Donovan said.

He claims to have never had a fire he was managing get out of control or left unattended.

“If we don’t have a spicket on-site, I will hook my hose up to my freshwater outdoor shower and have it readily available,” Donovan said. 

David Rose, the park host at Tumalo State Park Campgrounds, said campsite has a water spigot. And he offered another tool worth having.

“It’s always a good thing if you’re buying wood at a campground to have a hatchet because sometimes the wood is bigger than is convenient to start a fire,” Rose said. 

His point being that smaller wood will produce a smaller, more controlled fire. 


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