With cooler weather conditions and a decrease in fire danger, Public Use Restrictions (PURs) for campfires, smoking, off-road travel, and chainsaw use have been reduced to Phase A on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, effective Friday, September 14, 2018. Phase A is the second level of restrictions, generally implemented when fire danger is moderate to high. PURs are phased in and out across the Blue Mountains, as conditions warrant, and may differ from forest to forest.
1. Operating a chainsaw outside the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time. A one-hour fire watch is required after saw operations cease. Saw operators are required to have an ax (minimum 2 lb. head, 26” length), shovel (8” wide, 26” length), and fire extinguisher (minimum ABC 8 oz.) in their possession.
2. Seasonal Campfire Restrictions and Requirements described for June 1-October 31 apply.
Campfires allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread, at a minimum clearance of all flammable material within a radius of 3 feet from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing pits wherever possible.
1. Campfires must be attended at all times, and completely extinguished prior to leaving.
2. 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 per “a” above.
3. 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.
4. Use of charcoal briquettes is permitted under the same restrictions as campfires as described above.
3. Smoking, except within enclosed vehicles and buildings, or areas cleared of flammable material with a minimum clearance of 3 feet.
4. Operating a motorized vehicle off National Forest System roads.
5. Operating a motor vehicle on National Forest System roads where vegetation or other flammable material comes into contact with the vehicle’s undercarriage.
6. Being on a closed National Forest System road where access has been impeded or blocked by an earthen berm, logs, boulders, barrier, barricade or gate.
The public’s awareness of the change in fire danger and cooperation is essential for a safe fall. 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.
Please visit the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch webpage at www.bmidc.orgor the Blue Mountain Fire Information Blog at www.bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com for the most recent information on fire restriction across Forest Service, BLM and Oregon Dept. of Forestry lands.