BEND, OR -- Additional fire restrictions take effect overnight on the Deschutes National Forest, Crooked River National Grassland and Prineville BLM. Jaimie Olle, with the Forest Service, says the risk of fire is growing, "Coming into the weekend, we’re seeing some increases in temperatures - some pretty high temperatures. And overall we’re seeing a decreased level of moisture in our vegetation, particularly at those lower elevations, with those finer fuels like grasses and brush." She says the snowpack helped slow drying in higher elevations, but that’s quickly changing. And temps this weekend are expected in the 90s. "Our firefighters locally have been responding to some human-caused starts over the past couple of weeks, at those lower elevations," Olle tells KBND News, "And, once we start to see that drying trend, that’s when we typically move into a Public Use Restriction. And that’s where we’re at right now."
Starting at midnight, open fires, including wood stoves and charcoal briquette fires are not allowed, except in specific designated areas. "So, if you can have a campfire where you’re recreating, make sure that campfire is fully extinguished before you leave. That means cold to the touch." Click HERE for more on the restrictions and where campfires are allowed.
Firefighters responded yesterday to Incident 458, five miles southeast of Bend near Kelsey Butte. It was fully lined within a few hours and held at about a third of an acre. "Firefighters have had a lot of successes, so far this season," says Olle, "They’ve been able to get to fires quickly, keep them small and keep them in a manageable level. Obviously, as conditions dry out further, those fires do spread more quickly. So, as we move into the later part of July and August, we’ll see additional drying; not only at lower elevations, but we’ll start to see our upper elevations start to dry out as well."