Deschutes National Forest Expands Public Use Restrictions on Campfires to Wildernesses

Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, Deschutes National Forest, 458-231-1242

Date: August 28, 2020                    

Public Use Restrictions on campfires expands to Wildernesses

All lands on the Deschutes National Forest now covered

Central Oregon. – Beginning Saturday at 12:01 a.m. public use restrictions will limit the building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, including a charcoal fire, except at campfire rings established by the Forest Service at posted, developed and designated campgrounds (see attachment).

These public use restrictions are needed to protect public health and safety as well as natural resources because current fuel conditions caused by extended drought present an extreme fire risk. In addition, fire suppression resources are being depleted by extensive wildfire activity across the western United States. Though public use restrictions have been in place across most of the Deschutes National Forest since June 24, 2020 the order beginning on Saturday will include all national forest lands in wildernesses on the Deschutes National Forest.

As a reminder, the public use restrictions also apply to the following activities:

  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
  • Using an explosive.
  • Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine in violation of Industrial Fire Precaution directives (IFPL), to include personal use firewood permits and campfire wood.
  • Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either: – U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or – Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a).
  •  Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System Roads. EXCEPT when operating in compliance with travel management rule and the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices, provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety can be used.

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