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Annual campfire restrictions set to begin on BLM rivers in Central Oregon

Safe campfires are a special part of enjoying the great outdoors, but there can be limits, even bans in some locations.
Oregon Dept. of Forestry/file
Safe campfires are a special part of enjoying the great outdoors, but there can be limits, even bans in some locations.

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Annual campfire restrictions will go into effect June 1 on portions of the Deschutes, John Day, White and Crooked rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook.

Reducing the risk of wildfire helps BLM be a good neighbor in the river canyons, while facilitating commercial recreation and multiple-use opportunities, the agency said in a news release Thursday. The number one goal of the BLM is promoting employee and public safety, and the river canyons present a combination of limited access, grassy fuels that dry out quickly, and steep slopes that allow wildfires to spread rapidly.

Under these restrictions, commercially manufactured lanterns and metal camp stoves used for cooking are allowed, when fueled with bottled propane or liquid fuel and operated in a responsible manner. The river fire closures prohibit building, igniting, maintaining, attending, using, tending, or being within 20 feet of a campfire, charcoal fire, or any other type of open flame.

This closure also bans the use of portable propane campfires and wood pellet burning devices and restricts areas where visitors can smoke to non-public buildings, inside vehicles, in boats on the water, or while standing in the water.

The specific campfire closure locations apply to BLM-administered lands in the following areas:

  • Within ½ mile of the Crooked River’s edge from the Highway 97 bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Within ½ mile of the Deschutes River’s edge from the Highway 20 bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Within ½ mile of Lake Simtustus (located between Round Butte Dam and Pelton Dam).
  • Within the Lower Deschutes National Wild and Scenic River corridor, which extends from Pelton Dam to the Columbia River.
  • Within ½ mile of Lake Billy Chinook, including the BLM Beach dispersed recreation site located ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area on the south shore of the Metolius Arm of the lake.
  • Within ½ mile of the White River’s edge from its confluence with the Deschutes River upstream to the eastern boundary of the Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • The Mainstem John Day River from Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10) upstream to Kimberly (RM 185).
  • The North Fork John Day River, from the confluence with the Mainstem at Kimberly (RM 0) upstream to the Umatilla National Forest boundary (RM 62).
  • The South Fork John Day River from Smokey Creek (RM 6) upstream to the Malheur Forest (RM 47).

Closures on the Lower Deschutes, White, and Crooked Rivers and Lake Billy Chinook are in effect until October 15, while closures on the John Day River remain in effect until September 30. Except in emergency conditions or with permission by an agency authorized officer, there are no exceptions to this closure. A violation of this closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both.

For more information about these closures, or other fire restrictions on BLM-administered lands in central Oregon, please call the Prineville BLM District Office at (541) 416-6700 or visit https://www.blm.gov/orwafire. For current information on public use restrictions, fire closures or changes to the Industrial Fire Precaution Level on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Prineville BLM, please call the information line at 1-800-523-4737. Additional information about fire activity in Oregon/Washington is available online at: https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/.

-BLM-

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Central Oregon / Community / Local News

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Comments

1 Comment

  1. Looks like we’re going to need a lot of people who believe in the honor system.
    I particularly like the idea of smokers actually having to stand in the water to be compliant.
    Just one more downside to that bad habit. LOL !

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