Fire restrictions go into effect Friday on Willamette National Forest

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KTVZ) — Fire restrictions will go into effect on the Willamette National Forest beginning Friday. Except in designated campgrounds, all campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires, or any other fires will be prohibited. Restrictions will also go into effect for chainsaws, generators, and smoking.

The recent heat wave has accelerated the drying of fuels across the forest. The dry conditions are receptive to new ignitions and are conducive to rapid fire spread. The fire restrictions apply to all lands within the forest except the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Waldo Lake, and Diamond Peak Wilderness areas.

Portable cooking stoves, lanterns and heaters using liquefied or bottled fuel are still allowed if they can be switched on and off. Visitors should ensure there isn’t any vegetation around or immediately above these devices when in use. Smoking is not allowed except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or in areas devoid of vegetation.

Additionally, welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame is also not allowed. Generators are permitted only in areas devoid of vegetation such as a paved area or developed campsite. Motorized vehicles may operate only on designated trails and roads, including within the Huckleberry Flats and Santiam Pass OHV areas.

“The restrictions are in place to reduce the chances of human-caused wildland fires,” said Fire Management Officer Ed Hiatt. “Criteria for determining when an area should be placed under fire restriction is determined locally with the input of partnering agencies and communities. Criteria include fire danger, preparedness levels and local risk factors.”

Please be aware of current restrictions before you head out and share current information with others who may be unaware of the restrictions. Specific fire related closure orders are also being rolled out as necessary based on fire activity. Visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/willamette/fire for current conditions, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @WillametteNF for current fire information.

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