A total campfire ban begins Monday on public lands across Central Oregon as hot, dry and dangerous conditions persist across the region.
Effective July 12 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, Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
There are no exceptions for developed or hosted campgrounds.
These restrictions also apply to Wilderness Areas on the Deschutes National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest, and the Prineville District BLM.
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, as well as 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.
The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville BLM are also increasing to Industrial Fire Precaution Level III.
IFPL III is considered a “partial shutdown” and restricts the use of chainsaws to loading sites on tractor/skidder operations only to between the hours of 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Only cable yarding systems that use non-motorized systems are allowed. Industrial welding and mechanized loading operations are also restricted to the hours of 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Industrial and permitted operations may request a waiver from the managing Forest Service or BLM office for the activity’s location.
It is the responsibility of all operators to know and follow the requirements of the current fire precaution level. Commercial and personal use woodcutting is prohibited at this Industrial Fire Precaution Use level and all higher levels.
With drought conditions declared for much of the northwest, and hot temperatures extending into the next several months, firefighters will be busy responding to lightning-caused wildfires.
Additional wildfires caused through carelessness or negligence create unnecessary risk to our firefighters, the land, natural resources, our visitors, and our neighboring private lands.
For current wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.