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C.O. national forests, BLM to restrict fire use, starting Friday

Deschutes National Forest set to open day use sites and boat ramps

Limit to designated campgrounds; no smoking, travel restricted

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Following a warm and dry spring, drought is emerging and expanding across much of the West, and Central Oregon is expecting warmer and drier than average conditions this summer.

At the same time, as many facilities and areas are closed or allowing a limited number of visitors due to COVID-19 response measures, a higher than normal number of people are using public lands for recreation.

To reduce the number of preventable wildfires, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Crooked River National Grassland are implementing public use restrictions.

Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, open fires, including wood stoves and charcoal briquette fires, will be prohibited, except in the following designated campgrounds:

Crescent Ranger District: Contorta Flat, Contorta Point, Crescent Lake Resort and Campground, Odell Lake Resort and Campground, Princess Creek, Shelter Cove Resort and Campground, Simax Group Site, Spring, Sunset Cove, Trapper Creek, Whitefish Horse Camp, and Windy Group Site.

Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District:  Big River, Big River Group Camp, Bull Bend, Chief Paulina Horse Camp, Cinder Hill, Crane Prairie, Cultus Lake, East Lake, Elk Lake, Fall River, Fall River Guard Station, Gull Point, Lava Lake, Little Crater, Little Cultus Lake, Little Fawn, Little Fawn Group, Little Lava Lake, McKay Crossing, Mallard Marsh, McKay, Newberry Group Camp, North Twin, Ogden Group Camp, Paulina Lake, Prairie, Point, Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, Quinn River, Rock Creek, Sheep Bridge, South, South Twin, West South Twin, and Wyeth.

Sisters Ranger District: Allen Springs, Allingham, Blue Bay, Camp Sherman, Candle Creek, Cold Spring, Driftwood, Gorge, Graham Corral, Indian Ford, Jack Creek, Lava Camp Lake, Link Creek, Lower Bridge, Lower Canyon Creek, Perry South, Pine Rest, Pioneer Ford, Riverside, Scout Lake, Sheep Spring, Smiling River, South Shore, Three Creek Lake, Three Creek Meadow, Three Creek Horse Camp, and Whispering Pines.

Paulina Ranger District: Deep Creek, Sugar Creek, and Wolf Creek.

Lookout Mtn. Ranger District: Antelope Flat Reservoir, Ochoco Divide, Ochoco Forest, Walton Lake and Wildcat.

Crooked River National Grassland: Skull Hollow and Haystack Reservoir.

Prineville BLM: Campgrounds on the Lower Crooker River – Big Bend, Castle Rock, Chimney Rock, Cobble Rock, Lone Pine, Palisades, Poison Butte and Post Pile.

These restrictions do not apply to wildernesses on the Deschutes National Forest; however, they do apply to wildernesses and wilderness areas on the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM lands.

Additionally, under the public use restrictions, smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

Traveling off developed forest roads and trails also is not allowed, except for the purpose of going to and from a campsite located within 300 feet of the open developed road.

Public use restrictions protect the land, resources and visitors. Every year, lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on our firefighting resources and put our forests, firefighters and communities at risk.

Fires caused through carelessness or negligence create unnecessary risk. This year, every preventable fire also could increase our firefighter’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus, which could impact our firefighting resources unnecessarily, officials said.

Officials also want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks is prohibited on all federal lands.

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

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    1. It’s a little off topic from this article BUT I’ve been fighting off vandals, trespassers, and thief’s just south of Redmond for years. Most of them are “camping” in state land. Law says no overnight camping in this case.. I have a stack of cards from all kinds of agencies that have been out to my house from local Redmond pd to federal BLM officers. All of them say the same. The DA will not prosecute these criminals because of laws passed over the last few years that classify them as “homeless”. These same homeless jerks abandoned their RVs, trash, needles, set fire to their RVs and just leave them there for nature to take its course. Aside from trespassing it’s an environmental disaster. The public lands are a great thing in ALL of Oregon so let’s not vote in stupid laws without seeing the overall big picture!

  1. I just want to say I know how frustrating it is to see all the garbage and mess that is left on BLM because of the homeless problem however not everyone who lives out there is like that. I have lived out there for a year and my camp is very clean and I try not to impact the land as much as possible. I don’t steal or vandalize anyone’s property and I’m not a drug addict I’m just having a hard time and was left no option to go anywhere. I’m just saying with all the hate we have in the world maybe you just put the shoe on the other foot and try to help the next person you see struggling instead of seeing only one side

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