SALEM, OR (KPTV) – A ban on campfires will go into effect on Thursday in all of Oregon’s state parks and state-managed forests east of Interstate 5 as firefighters continue to combat several wildfires.
The Oregon Department of Forestry said the ban will even apply to designated campfire areas. The ban includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, charcoal briquettes, pellet grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. The ban does not extend to portable cooking stoves or propane lanterns using liquefied or bottle fuels. However, propane fire pits do fall under the ban.
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The ban applies to all state-managed parks and forestlands east of I-5 and includes prohibitions on fires in designated fire rings. ODF said the public should anticipate restrictions in other areas based on ongoing fire danger. Crews are fighting wildfires across Oregon, including the Bootleg Fire in the southern part of the state. As of Wednesday morning, the Bootleg Fire has burned nearly 400,000 acres.
ODF said restrictions on fires may increase as danger rises in other parts of Oregon and they will remain in place until conditions moderate. No lifting date for the ban was announced by ODF. The department said the “banning campfires east of Interstate 5 was deemed a necessary measure to protect life and property in what is already a very challenging and dangerous fire season.”
According to ODF, an average of 70 percent or more fires in Oregon are caused by humans and the restrictions are meant to help reduce the number of human-caused fire starts.