(Update: Forest Service, BLM also lift public fire use restrictions)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fire officials on the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville District BLM ended public fire use restrictions Tuesday due to increased moisture, cooler temperatures and decreased daylight hours.
The Oregon Department of Forestry's Central Oregon District announced the same earlier Tuesday, effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Campfires are now allowed across the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and on Prineville District BLM lands not currently under a seasonal campfire restriction.
However, seasonal campfire restrictions on portions of the Deschutes, White and Crooked rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook, remain in effect through Thursday. The Crooked River seasonal restriction applies to within a half -mile of the river’s edge, from the Highway 97 Bridge to Lake Billy Chinook.
Public fire use restrictions have been removed from designated wilderness areas on the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Prineville District BLM. Elevation-based campfire bans remain in effect.
Forest Service officials advised to remember to have plenty of water and a shovel on-hand when maintaining a campfire. Make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before you leave it unattended. Propane firepits may also be used again on BLM-managed lands not currently under a seasonal campfire restriction and all national forest lands.
Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, fire officials will decrease the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) to a 1, which requires a one-hour fire watch following equipment shutdown.
Fire officials would like to remind people that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks is always prohibited on all federal lands.
For current wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.
Here's ODF's earlier announcement:
Thanks to cooler, wetter weather, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Regulated-Use Closure in the Central Oregon District will be terminated at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday.
Fire managers said Tuesday they have determined the recent cooler weather and widespread precipitation across ODF’s Central Oregon District have reduced the risk of rapid fire spread and these prevention measures are no longer necessary.
In addition to the removal of the Regulated-Use Closure for the District, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level for MH-1 (East of Hwy. 35) will be reduced to Level 1. Fire season remains in effect.
Open burning and debris burning without a permit is prohibited on ODF-protected lands during fire season. Additional county or local fire department restrictions may also be in effect. Use of tracer ammunition or exploding targets during fire season is not allowed.
While campfires and warming fires are allowed, the public is reminded to never leave a fire unattended, clear the area around the fire of flammable material prior to lighting and keep the fire small. Having a shovel and water nearby are also safe practices to limit risk of the fire escaping. Be sure your campfire is DEAD OUT! by drowning with water and stirring until there is no heat remaining.
Use caution in all outdoor activities and follow ODF and local restrictions. Current restrictions can be found at www.ODFcentraloregon.com. Failure to follow current restrictions may result in a citation or liability for fire suppression work. Wildfires cause damage to Oregon’s natural resources, including affecting water, soil and air quality and impact local communities.
These restrictions affect Central Oregon District-protected lands in Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Wasco, and Wheeler counties.
ODF’s Central Oregon District continues to serve landowners and the public as an essential service for Oregonians. Please call or email to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment. For additional information on ODF’s Central Oregon District, including contact information and unit offices, please visit www.ODFcentraloregon.com.