SALEM, Ore. — With Governor Brown's declaration of a wildfire emergency this week comes a development that is sure to be unpopular with travelers—the prohibition of campfires and open flames in all Oregon state parks.
The ban is intended to avoid accidental fires on Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) property, which would further stretch firefighting resources already spread thin across the state.
“We understand this is an inconvenience for campers, especially those who might not see the immediate need for local fire restrictions,” said MG Devereux, OPRD deputy director. “We appreciate the public’s patience and their willingness to help protect our natural areas.”
This fire ban applies to wood, charcoal, and all other flame sources that cannot be turned off with a valve. Liquid fuel stoves or cooking devices that can be turned off with a valve are permitted, but cannot be left unattended. All campgrounds, day-use areas, and all areas of the Ocean Shore managed by OPRD are affected.
OPRD expects the ban to last "at least one week," but that will depend on weather, firefighting efforts and input from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and other state and local fire officials.
Meanwhile, Southern Oregon just saw the fire danger level on all ODF-protected lands jump to the "Extreme" (red) level, effective Friday morning. According to ODF, this affects 1.8 million million acres of state, private, county and Bureau of Land Management lands in ODF's Southwest Oregon district.
At present, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level will remain at Level 2.
Here are the full list of restrictions from ODF at Extreme fire danger level:
• The use of power saws is prohibited.
• The cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited.
• The mowing of dry or dead grass is prohibited.
• The operation of any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine not specifically mentioned above is prohibited.
• Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and designated locations.
• Debris burning is prohibited.
• Burn barrel use is prohibited.
• Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except in approved fire rings at designated campgrounds. In other locations, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.
• Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may only be used on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except when used for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
• Fireworks are prohibited.
• Any electric fence controller in use shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and operated in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
• The use of exploding targets is prohibited.
• The use of tracer ammunition or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base is prohibited.
• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher.