Fire Restrictions Extended Throughout Oregon & Washington
Portland, OR – In response to the hot, dry weather, both Oregon and Washington have extended their bans on recreational fires in some areas. Specific fire restrictions will vary and it’s important to check with your local area for updates.
In Washington, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have banned open fires outside of campgrounds. Gov. Gregoire has extended an emergency proclamation declaring a State of Emergency for all counties east of the crest of the Cascades. The proclamation ensures continued air support from Washington’s National Guard to help fight ongoing wildfires, and extends a burn ban through midnight Monday, Sept. 24th.
On state lands in Oregon, open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The Northwest continues to face a dangerous fire season with no rain and a threat of new lightning strikes this weekend. Forest Service and BLM officials urge the public to be engaged – conscious, cautious and careful – with fire.
“Every year lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on our firefighting resources, and put our wildlands, our firefighters, and our communities at risk,” said Mike Mottice, Acting Oregon/Washington BLM State Director. “Fires caused through carelessness or negligence only increases the threat to life and livelihood, and place an even greater burden on already busy firefighters.”
Kent Connaughton, Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service, added: “In an active fire season, we need our firefighters available and ready to respond. Every fire that’s prevented helps firefighters remain available, rested, and safe. As always, our highest priority remains public and firefighter safety.”
Varying levels of restrictions are in place on state and federal lands throughout the Northwest.
Before heading out to enjoy your public lands, check in with your local BLM, Forest Service, Washington DNR, or Oregon Department of Forestry office for up-to-date information. Some helpful websites:
About the BLM: The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land – the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.