National Forests to ease campfire restrictions beginning Friday

Local National Forests are easing campfire restrictions beginning Friday due to increased moisture and cooling temperatures.

The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville District BLM will allow campfires in designated campgrounds and lower the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to a Level 2.

Campfires will be allowed once again in designated, developed campgrounds.

Remember to have plenty of water and a shovel on-hand when maintaining a campfire in a designated campground.

Make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before you leave it unattended. Propane firepits may also be used again on BLM-managed lands not currently under a seasonal campfire restriction and all National Forest lands.

Public fire use restrictions have been removed from designated Wilderness Areas on the Deschutes National Forest. Elevation-based campfire bans remain in effect.

Wilderness public fire use restrictions remain in effect for the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville District BLM.

Seasonal campfire restrictions on portions of the Deschutes, White and Crooked Rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook remain in effect.

The Crooked River seasonal restriction only applies to within half a mile of the river’s edge from Highway 97 Bridge to Lake Billy Chinook. Closures on the Lower Deschutes, White, and Crooked Rivers and Lake Billy Chinook are in effect until October 15, 2020.

Effective immediately, the IFPL across Central Oregon drops to an IFPL 2: Partial Hootowl. During an IFPL 2 personal firewood cutting may resume; however, chainsaw use is not allowed from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and must be followed by a one-hour fire watch after equipment is shutdown.

Partial Hootowl – The following may operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time (no operation between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.):

·       Power saws except at loading sites

·       Cable yarding

·       Blasting

·       Welding or cutting metal

Fire officials would like to remind people to continue being diligent with possible ignition sources. Vegetation remains dry and susceptible to sparks. Human-caused wildfire starts can exhaust local firefighting resources as many firefighters remain engaged in fighting fires across the west.

Using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks is always prohibited on all federal lands.

For current wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.

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