Central Oregon – Fire investigators have determined that the cause of the Bear Creek Fire was an abandoned campfire. The investigation is still ongoing.
The Bear Creek Fire, burning near McKay Creek saddle off of Forest Road 2735 on the Ochoco National Forest, was reported on September 12, around 2:00 p.m. Firefighters were able to quickly respond to the blaze and with assistance from aerial resources, were able to hold the fire to 25 acres. Crews are continuing to mop up and secure fire lines today and the fire is now 20% contained.
While cooler nights might prompt visitors to have a campfire, fire managers want to remind the public that public use (fire) restrictions remain in place on federally managed public lands in Central Oregon and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds. If you are outside of a designated campground, you may bring a propane fire pit for warmth or a propane stove to cook meals. If you are within a designated campground, ensure you are still bringing water to drown the fire so it is cold to the touch when you leave it.
Information on current restrictions, visit your local national forest office or check out this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/ochoco/alerts-notices/?aid=66779.
Current Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) can be obtained by contacting your Central Oregon Fire Use Information Line at 1-800-523-4737.
For wildland fire information, the public can visit centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter/X @CentralORfire. Call 9-1-1 to report a wildfire.