Oregon Parks and Recreation enforcing campfire ban to prevent wildfires

Multiple agencies have restrictions in place.

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 6:38 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 11:23 AM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- With wildfires spreading across the state, multiple agencies are working to make sure no more preventable fires are started by humans.

Oregon Parks and Recreation is enforcing a campfire ban, and the main goal is to prevent any more wildfires from starting, which could tax the already busy firefighting resources.

"What starts as a small fire can become a large fire very quickly,” said Jessica Gallimore with the Bureau of Land Management.

The ban applies to all Oregon state park and recreation properties, including campgrounds, day-use areas and all areas of the ocean shore and beaches that are managed by the department.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Trevor Rigmaiden, a state ranger, who said even even the smallest spark can be dangerous, so the idea is to keep campers safe.

“One of our goals is to serve the public. That's why we're here, so keeping them safe is paramount,” Rigmaiden said.

The Bureau of Land Management also owns several camping areas. As of now, their rules are different.

At BLM-owned properties, as of Thursday, people were still allowed to have campfires inside the metal or rock rings at the designated campgrounds.

Campers can also use fuel stoves or cooking devices that can be turned off at both BLM and state parks.

Gallimore said BLM restrictions could change soon to match those of the state parks. She said the weather is one of the main factors in small fires turning into big problems.

"The factors that really come into play are hot, dry and windy (weather). So something that starts out small on a hot, dry and windy day can become large very quickly,” Gallimore said.

The state park’s fire ban applies to wood, charcoal and other flame sources that cannot be turned off with a valve. The fire ban is expected to last at least a week.

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