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Campfires to be banned in all state parks, state-managed forests from I-5 east

Oregon Dept. of Forestry/file

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Due to fire danger and limited firefighting resources across the western U.S., effective Thursday, no campfires will be allowed in state parks and in state-managed forests east of Interstate 5, including all of Central and Eastern Oregon, even in designated campfire areas.

This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, charcoal briquettes, pellet grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves or propane lanterns using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not. 

This ban covers all state-managed parks and forestlands east of Interstate 5, all the way to the Idaho, Washington and California borders, and includes prohibitions on fires in designated fire rings. The public can also anticipate restrictions in other areas, based on fire danger. Restrictions may increase as fire danger rises in other parts of Oregon and will remain in place until conditions moderate.

The ban only applies to state parks and state-managed forests, not other property protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

State agencies strongly encourage checking fire danger levels and associated restrictions in a given area before traveling and daily during a visit. 

With hot, dry weather expected to continue and no relief forecasted in the foreseeable future -- and several large fires on Oregon's landscape -- the step of banning campfires east of Interstate 5 was deemed a necessary measure to protect life and property in what is already a very challenging and dangerous fire season. 

Particularly in times of elevated fire danger, maintaining capacity to respond quickly to new fire starts is critical. Humans cause on average 70% or more of fires in Oregon, and these additional restrictions are intended to help reduce the number of human-caused fire starts. This will allow firefighters to focus on the existing large fires as well as new blazes that may emerge.

"We are seeing record-low humidity in much of the state, and as forest fuels dry out, there is tremendous potential for fire to establish and spread quickly," Oregon State Forester Nancy Hirsch said. "With months of fire season left, this measure will help us prevent one of the most common types of human-caused fires, which reduces the risk to our communities and natural resources."

"Every park visitor can do their part to protect the landscapes we all love," said Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director. "Help reduce fire risk by bringing meals that don't require heating or cooking."

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  1. So it appears that based on the statement by Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director [to] “Help reduce fire risk by bringing meals that don’t require heating or cooking”, peanut butter and jelly are the new go to foods at camp grounds (can’t even do smores with this ban). Hopefully this order also allows local law enforcement agencies to begin issuing citations or making arrests for those who are illegally camping and setting fires in non approved campgrounds across the state. Also, is the Governor also going to enforce anti-gouging laws on the small propane tanks which are already overpriced and/or non-existent? Lots of details need to be added to this policy and news article.

    1. Bring on the soda crackers and sardines! Best camp food there is!

      Hopefully since this is a state-level ban it actually gets enforced unlike more local bans; like say the firework “ban” in Bend or the political content “ban” on parades in Redmond.

  2. This is what government tyranny looks like! It’s my right to have a campfire wherever I want! If you’re so afraid of catching fire, wear a fireproof suit, sheeple! The Governor has no clue what she’s doing! There’s no evidence of anyone ever dying from a fire! FAKE NEWS!

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