Willamette forest restrictions in place for campfires, chainsaws, generators & smoking
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – The increasing national need for firefighting resources and hot, dry conditions on the Willamette National Forest are causing fire managers to ban campfires outside of developed campgrounds, use of chainsaws, and smoking outside of vehicles.
This includes a ban on the use of charcoal briquettes. Campfires are allowed in metal or concrete fire rings in the developed campgrounds listed in Appendix A. Camp stoves that run on propane or liquid fuels and can be turned on/off are acceptable.
Generators are permitted only in areas devoid of vegetation, such as a developed campsite, or in enclosed buildings. Motorized vehicles may operate only on designated trails and roads. Santiam and Huckleberry OHV areas remain open.
In six high elevation wilderness areas (Mount Jefferson, Opal Creek, Mount Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake and Diamond Peak) where it tends to be cooler and the fuels wetter, visitors may still have campfires. However, in two lower elevation wilderness areas (Middle Santiam and Menagerie), due to warmer temperatures and drier fuels, campfires are banned.
“We never place restrictions without careful consideration” stated Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck, “but considering the current fire situation, fuel moisture, and predicted weather this decision helps our firefighters remain available, rested, and safe. Every year lightning-caused fires place heavy demand on resources, and put our forests, our firefighters, and our communities at risk. Fires caused through carelessness or negligence increase the threat to life and livelihood. Thanks for doing your part to help.”
Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue in the Cascades, keeping firefighting resources responding to an increasing number of wildfires. "Please help protect these beautiful forests and prevent any more wildfires from starting by following these restrictions. If you see others who may be unaware of the restrictions, please share this information."
Of the 62 large, active fires burning in the United States, 10 are burning in Oregon. Oregon Parks and Recreation is enforcing a campfire ban as of July 19, 2018. Currently on Bureau of Land Management sites people are allowed to have campfires if they are inside metal or rock rings at designated campgrounds.