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Oregon State Parks bans all campfires, fires on beaches
Terry Richard | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Terry Richard | The Oregonian/OregonLive Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on August 19, 2015 at 11:20 AM, updated August 19, 2015 at 12:12 PM
Fires are prohibited in Oregon's state parks, effective Thursday, Aug. 19, except for stoves used for cooking.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced that it was prohibiting all campfires in Oregon state parks and other properties owned and managed by the department beginning Thursday at 10 a.m.
The ban includes but is not limited to constructed steel fire pits, tiki torches and candles. The ban also extends to fires on ocean beaches.
"Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires on our property that would further tax limited firefighting resources," said MG Devereux, the department's deputy director, in a statement released by the staff. "Most communities have sent local firefighters and equipment to help with wildfires throughout the state. An unintentional fire in a state park would add an unnecessary burden to firefighting efforts."
The state park ban doesn't apply to propane stoves and/or charcoal briquettes for cooking, but there may be local fire restrictions that do limit those kinds of fires, so check locally.
Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information, or call the state park information line at 800-551-6949, or visiting oregonstateparks.org.
This ban will remain in effect for at least one week and will be re-evaluated based on fire status, weather and guidance from state and local fire officials.
In general, fires are prohibited across the Pacific Northwest's recreation lands except in constructed fire pits at campgrounds. Oregon's parks are now implementing even that restriction. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon announced a ban of all campfires, effective Thursday, moments after the state park announcement.
Some national forests have a total campfire ban also, though others still allow campground campfires. Check for regulations where you wish to go.
Park and forest staffs usually post fire prohibition signs on information boards at recreation sites soon after fire bans are announced. Campers should take the time to read the information postings and obey the regulations.
Look for more tips at this link about how to check for current fire conditions: Northwest wildfires affecting recreation, check conditions before heading out.
Oregon State Park had previously put campfire restrictions in place on Aug. 4 in the Columbia River Gorge, middle and southern portions of the Willamette Valley, on southern Oregon coastal beaches and a few locations east of the Cascades.
-- Terry Richard firstname.lastname@example.org