Some campfire restrictions lifted in Central Oregon national forests

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Due to increased moisture and cooling temperatures, fire officials on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville District BLM will downgrade public use restrictions to allow campfires in designated campgrounds and lower the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to a Level 2.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 17, 2021, campfires are allowed once again in designated, developed campgrounds (see list) on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville District BLM.

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 fire pits may also be used again on BLM-managed lands not currently under a seasonal campfire restriction and all National Forest lands.

Seasonal campfire restrictions on portions of the John Day, Deschutes, White and Crooked Rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook remain in effect and include a ban on portable propane campfires.

Closures on the John Day River are currently in effect until September 30, 2021, and closures on the Lower Deschutes, White, and Crooked Rivers and Lake Billy Chinook are in effect until October 15, 2021.

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 shut down.

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 are always prohibited on all National Forest lands and remain prohibited on BLM-administered lands in Central Oregon until October 31, 2021.

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

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