BEND, OR -- Due to continued hot and dry conditions, officials are increasing restrictions on federally managed lands in Central Oregon, beginning this weekend. Jean Nelson-Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says public-use restrictions typically don’t begin until early August. "We're really trying to get the message across that this is such a different year. Certainly, we’ve had dry years in the past, but this is extremely dry and we have all the conditions for natural starts. We're really working on making sure folks understand that a tiny spark this year can set off a pretty big wildfire."
Effective Friday, nearly everything else that causes a spark is prohibited within the Prineville BLM
and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland
. "I can’t recall when we’ve had these same restrictions in wilderness, because usually the higher elevation we have moisture. But, the moisture is out of even our higher elevations," Nelson-Dean tells KBND. She adds, "Usually only during extreme fire seasons do we have public use restrictions and usually they don’t come in play until early August, so we’re a full month ahead on doing this. So, no campfires except in some designated campgrounds, no woodstoves, no warming fires, no cooking fires, no charcoal fires, no portable propane campfires, no wood burning stoves, wood pellet grills or smokers."
Crescent Ranger District: Contorta Flat, Contorta Point, Crescent Lake, Princess Creek, Simax Group, Spring, Sunset Cove, Trapper Creek, Whitefish Horse Camp, Windy Group Site, Industrial Mushroom Camp (Little Odell Butte)
Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District: Crane Prairie, Cultus Lake, Elk Lake, Fall River, Fall River Guard Station, Gull Point, Lava Lake, Little Cultus Lake, Little Fawn, Little Fawn Group, Little Lava Lake, Mallard Marsh, North Twin, Point, Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, Quinn River, Rock Creek, Sheep Bridge, South, South Twin, West South, Big River Group, Bull Bend, Wyeth, Cinder Hill, East Lake, Little Crater, Newberry, Ogden Group, Paulina Lake, Prairie
Sisters Ranger District: Allen Springs, Allingham, Blue Bay, Camp Sherman, Candle Creek, Cold Spring, Driftwood, Gorge, Graham Corral, Indian Ford, Jack Creek, Link Creek, Lower Bridge, Lower Canyon Creek, Perry South, Pine Rest, Pioneer Ford, Riverside, Scout Lake, Sheep Spring, Smiling River, South Shore, Suttle Lake, Three Creeks Lake, Three Creeks Meadow, Three Creeks Horse Camp, Whispering Pine
Paulina Ranger District: Sugar Creek, Wolf Creek
Lookout Mtn. Ranger District: Antelope Flat Reservoir, Deep Creek, Ochoco Divide, Ochoco Forest, Walton Lake and Wildcat
Crooked River National Grassland: Skull Hollow and Haystack Reservoir
Prineville BLM: Big Bend, Castle Rock, Still Water, Lone Pine, Palisades, Chimney Rock, Cobble Rock, Post Pile, and Poison Butte
For more on what is and isn't allowed with current public use restrictions, click HERE