Following a warm and dry spring, drought continues to expand across much of the west, and Central Oregon is expecting warmer and drier than average conditions this summer. With weather predictions indicating extremely high temperatures moving into the region, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest, and the Crooked River National Grassland, are implementing public use restrictions as well as moving to an Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 on Friday, June 25, 2021, to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires.
Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 25, open fires, including wood stoves and charcoal briquette fires, will be prohibited, except in the following designated campgrounds:
Crescent Ranger District: Contorta Flat, Contorta Point, Crescent Lake Resort and Campground, Odell Lake Resort and Campground, Princess Creek, Shelter Cove Resort and Campground, Simax Group Site, Spring, Sunset Cove, Trapper Creek, Whitefish Horse Camp, and Windy Group Site.
Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District: Big River Group Camp, Chief Paulina Horse Camp, Cinder Hill, Crane Prairie, Cultus Lake, East Lake, Elk Lake, Fall River, Fall River Guard Station, Gull Point, Lava Lake, Little Crater, Little Cultus Lake, Little Fawn, Little Fawn Group, Little Lava Lake, Mallard Marsh, Newberry, North Twin, Ogden Group Camp, Paulina Lake, Point, Prairie, Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, Quinn River, Rock Creek, Sheep Bridge, South, South Twin, and West South Twin.
Sisters Ranger District: Allen Springs, Allingham, Blue Bay, Camp Sherman, Candle Creek, Cold Spring, Driftwood, Gorge, Graham Corral, Indian Ford, Jack Creek, Lave Camp Lake, Link Creek, Lower Bridge, Lower Canyon Creek, Perry South, Pine Rest, Pioneer Ford, Riverside, Scout Lake, Sheep Spring, Smiling River, South Shore, Three Creek Lake, Three Creek Meadow, and Three Creek Horse Camp.
Paulina Ranger District: Deep Creek, Sugar Creek, and Wolf Creek.
Lookout Mtn. Ranger District: Antelope Flat Reservoir, Ochoco Divide, Ochoco Forest, Walton Lake and Wildcat.
Crooked River National Grassland: Skull Hollow and Haystack Reservoir.
Prineville BLM: Campgrounds on the Lower Crooker River – Castle Rock, Chimney Rock, Cobble Rock, Lone Pine, Lower Palisades, Poison Butte Post Pile and Stillwater.
These restrictions do not apply to Wildernesses on the Deschutes National Forest; however, these restrictions do apply to Wildernesses and Wilderness Study Areas on the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM.
Additionally, under the public use restrictions, smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. Traveling off developed forest roads and trails also is not allowed, except for the purpose of going to and from a campsite located within 300 feet of the open developed road.
Also, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 25, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will move to a Level 2, known as a Partial Hootowl. IFPL regulates permitted activities such as timber sales, service contracts and firewood cutting. Under an IFPL 2, power saws (except at log loading sites), cable yarding operations, blasting, welding/cutting metal may only operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time (no operation between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.).
Public use restrictions and industrial operations restrictions protect the land, resources, and visitors. Every year lightning-caused fires place a heavy demand on our firefighting resources and puts our forests, firefighters, and communities at risk. Fires caused through carelessness or negligence create unnecessary, added risk.
Officials also want to remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks is prohibited year-round on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River Grassland, and from May 12 – October 31, 2021 on lands managed by the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management.
For current Central Oregon wildland fire information, the public can follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.