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Public use restrictions lifted on most C.O. federal land


With rain and cooler temperatures over the weekend, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Crooked River National Grassland announced Monday they are dropping public use restrictions that included campfire bans.

Under the reduction in restrictions, open fires, including charcoal fires, will be allowed. Be aware that the seasonal restrictions on BLM-administered lands in the following areas remain in effect until October 15 in these places:

· Crooked River

o Within ½ mile of the river’s edge along the Lower Crooked River from the Highway 97 Bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.

o Within ½ mile of Lake Simtustus (between Round Butte Dam and Pelton Dam)

· Deschutes River

o Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from the Highway 20 bridge to Lake Billy Chinook; including all BLM-administered lands north of the Jefferson county line and between the Deschutes River and

o Within the Lower Deschutes National Wild and Scenic River corridor (Pelton Dam to the Columbia River)

· Lake Billy Chinook – Public lands located within ½ mile of Lake Billy Chinook; including BLM Beach dispersed recreation site located approximately ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area on the south shore of the Metolius River Arm of the lake.

· White River – Within ½ mile of the river’s edge from its confluence with the Deschutes River upstream to the eastern boundary of the Mount Hood National Forest.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 (Partial Hootowl) remains in place. Under this level, commercial and personal woodcutting, welding, cable yarding and blasting is allowed, where authorized, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., with a minimum of a one-hour fire watch following activity.

Officials carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to lift fire restrictions.

Fire officials want to remind people recreating on public lands to continue to use caution, even though fall is approaching and temperatures are cooling down; wildfires are still possible. All campfires, including warming fires used by hunters, should be cold to the touch when not being watched.

To keep up-to-date on prescribed fire and wildfire activity, follow on or on Twitter at @CentralORFire.

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