86% of wildfires so far have been human-caused
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As of 8 a.m. Monday, campfire restrictions are in effect on the Willamette National Forest as wildfire danger continues to rise.
July was much drier than average, and August and September are predicted to have higher than average temperatures, officials said. These conditions will continue to increase the risk of wildfires.
The Willamette National Forest is simultaneously experiencing extremely high visitation, increasing the number of preventable, human-caused fires. So far in 2020, 86% of wildfires in Oregon have been human caused.
“We have considered the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making this decision,” said Fire Staff Officer Ed Hiatt. “Every year, lightning-caused fires place heavy demand on firefighters, and put our forests, our firefighters, and our communities at risk. Every fire we collectively prevent protects our communities from smoke and fire and helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe.”
All campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires or any other open fires will be prohibited, outside of designated campgrounds and select Wilderness areas, under a Forest Order.
Restrictions will also go into effect for chainsaws in campgrounds off-highway vehicles, and smoking. Portable cooking stoves and lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel are still allowed as they can be instantly switched off.
Hot and dry conditions are expected in the Cascades, keeping fire suppression resources responding to an increasing number of wildfires.
Please be aware of current restrictions before you head out and share current information with others who may be unaware of the restrictions. Please continue to be fire safe, and if you see a fire, report it through the 911 system.
Visit the forest's website at www.fs.usda.gov/willamette/ and follow on Facebook and Twitter @WillametteNF for current fire information.