(Press Release from the Malheur National Forest)
As a result of cooler temperatures, increased humidity levels, and some precipitation, public use restrictions (PUR’s) on the Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts of the Malheur National Forest will drop to Phase A as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 14, 2018. The Emigrant Creek Ranger District will remain at PUR’s Phase C due to continued dry conditions and no recent rainfall on the south half of the Forest.
The north half (Blue Mountain and Prairie City Ranger Districts) of the Forest will also move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 (IFPL II) and High Fire Danger. The south half (Emigrant Creek Ranger District) will remain at IFPL IV and Extreme Fire Danger.
Public Use Restrictions Phase A restrictions include:
Operating a chainsaw outside the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time is prohibited. A one hour fire watch is required after saw operations cease. Saw operators are required to have an axe (minimum 2 lb. head, 26” length), shovel (8” wide, 26” length), and fire extinguisher (minimum ABC 8 oz.) in their possession.
Campfires are allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread. All flammable material shall be cleared within a 3-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible.
- Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
- Persons with campfires are required to have a tool that can serve as a shovel and one gallon of water in their possession. The intent of this requirement is to ensure individuals with a campfire to have the tools necessary to completely extinguish their campfire.
- Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled gas and wood burning stoves equipped with a chimney that is at least five (5) feet in length with a spark-arresting screen consisting of ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth are allowed.
- Use of charcoal briquettes is permitted under the same restrictions as campfires as described above.
It is prohibited to operate a motorized vehicle off National Forest System roads, to operate a motor vehicle on National Forest System roads where vegetation or other flammable material comes into contact with the vehicle’s undercarriage, or being on a closed National Forest System road where access has been impeded or blocked by earthen berm, logs, boulders, barrier, barricade or gate.
Smoking is prohibited, except within enclosed vehicles and buildings, or areas cleared of flammable material with a minimum clearance of 3 feet.
Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously and keeping up-to-date on the latest orders and regulations.
Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Please check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry office for public use restrictions on lands protected by ODF.
For more information about Industrial Fire Precaution Levels and Malheur National Forest Public Use Restrictions, please call 541-575-3000, or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/malheur