BEND, OR -- Federally managed lands in Central Oregon are now under increased industrial restrictions, due to the extreme fire danger across the region. Effective Monday, the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, Crooked River National Grassland and the Prineville BLM raised the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to Three.
Jean Nelson Dean, with the Deschutes National Forest, says the increased level does not impact recreational activities. "This primarily affects most industrial uses. So, people who are out doing timber harvests or in some way doing commercial activities on forest land using saws, cable yarding equipment, tractors, skidders, those kinds of things. There’s a time restriction when those people can operate."
She tells KBND News, "It doesn’t affect people who are out having campfires, or anything like that. The only kind of use it effects for most of the public is woodcutting. So, if people want to cut wood for personal or commercial use; that is not allowed." While campfires are still allowed in federal campgrounds, Nelson Dean urges, "If you don’t need a fire, don’t have a fire. Or, if you do, be very careful with it. We want people to still have an abundance of caution around it, but at this time we haven’t put those restrictions. The state has; and that would apply to state lands, like La Pine State Park and Tumalo State Park, and those areas."
Campfires are still allowed in designated federal campgrounds, although the Oregon Department of Forestry is prohibiting fires on state-managed lands, like state parks. August is traditionally the worst month of the year for wildfire in Central Oregon.