Skip to Content

Campfires, recreational fires where banned in Central Oregon can bring fines up to $500

(Update: Adding video, comments, details)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Campfires and recreational fires are currently banned in the city of Bend and on all federal lands in Central Oregon. 

Jean Nelson-Dean, public affairs offer for the Deschutes National Forest, says the Forest Service has issued fines, but is also issuing warnings.

"We are in a really unprecedented fire season across the west, but Central Oregon is predicted to be one of the worst places,” Nelson-Dean said Friday.

On July 12, the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests, the Crooked River National Grassland, and the Prineville District of the BLM banned the use of campfires.

Since then, Nelson-Dean said they have received a number of calls, and given out four $250 tickets for open campfires.

"We do not want to see anything like that,” Nelson-Dean said. “One spark is all it takes to start a fire."

She said some of the calls have been about propane stoves, which are currently legal to use.

Generators are also legal, as long as they are 10 feet clear of any vegetation, or on a truck bed.

"Can't emphasize enough how much we ask people to still use any of those things with a great deal of caution,” Nelson-Dean said. 

The City of Bend enacted its own recreational fire ban on July 16.

Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said Friday they have responded to 11 calls. Three of the fires were legal, while eight were deemed illegal.

Of the eight illegal fires, two citations were given. 

Kettering said citations can cost $275 within city limits, and up to $500 when in rural areas.

"Right now, we're taking it on a case-by-case basis,” Kettering said. 

Nine of the 11 calls were on private residences.

Kettering said she is impressed with the community's acceptance of the new rules, but thinks those visiting Bend could improve.

"I think some of the visitors that we've had, because there are a number of residences that are vacation rentals or Air BnBs, we really need the property owners or property managers to help get the word out to their guests and tenants that they need to curtail any type of fires that are not within our guidelines,” Kettering said.

Nelson-Dean said she is also relatively satisfied with people’s compliance, but wants to remind everyone that the rule is there for a reason.

"We are going to have lightning, those are going to cause fires,” Nelson-Dean said. “If we could just respond to the one-third of our fires that are lighting, instead of the two-thirds that are human-caused."

For current wildland fire information, the public can visit or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content