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Campfire restrictions go into effect on public lands in Oregon


We’re looking at a week of predicted temperatures at or near the centennial, which means burning restrictions are coming into effect for campers hardy enough to rough it out during a heat wave.

Starting Thursday, July 28, fires will no longer be allowed at scattered campsites for a large swath of central Oregon. Areas affected include Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest, Crooked River National Grassland and the Prineville District Land Management Office.

At this point, however, you can still create a fire for warmth and cooking inside designated campsites located in previously listed sites. Gas stoves and portable propane fireplaces are also sanctioned for those in a serviced campground.

If your summer vacation takes you to southern Oregon, the Umpqua National Forest has similar rules. As of July 22, the fire danger levels for this zone have been increased to High, which means that fires there are limited to designated campfire circles. Those handcrafted with stones are only acceptable in the three wild areas of the forest.

Thanks to a mild and wet June (and spring in general), there has been less fire danger this year, especially compared to 2021, when it was nearly impossible to find a place to pitch a tent and light a campfire. Last July, the Oregon Forest Department banned open flames in all state parks and state-managed forests east of Interstate 5. Even lands that typically receive a lot of precipitation, such as Tillamook State Forest and Siuslaw National Forest, have banned all fires for a period of time to help prevent sparks from any massive fires.

However, our cooler start to summer has led to an increase in what public lands agencies call “fine fuel loads,” or grasses and foliage, which burn easily and are major drivers of wildfires.

In addition to this, rangers encountered flames made by hobbyists that were not properly extinguished.

“With several abandoned campfires at scattered sites over the past few weekends, as well as warmer and drier weather, our intention is to mitigate the possibility of any of these fires becoming a wildfire. “said Sara Billings, fire management specialist with the US Forest Service. the Umpqua National Forest Facebook account.

City dwellers, including those in Portland, are also being urged to cancel their s’more warming plans.

Multnomah Fire Defense Council Chief Scott Lewis has issued a countywide outdoor burning ban effective Monday, July 25, due to the long streak of sweltering temperatures. This applies to recreational campfires, fire pits, burning of yard and agricultural debris, and land clearing fires.

Barbeques with grills, smokers or similar appliances with clean, dry firewood, briquettes, wood chips, pellets and gas are still allowed, but anyone who is going to cook a burger using the one of these fuel sources should be done with extreme caution.

The Multnomah County burning ban will remain in effect until further notice.