JOHN DAY – The Malheur National Forest is back to Industrial Fire Precaution Level I, with the fire danger at moderate, forestwide.
That lifts the public use restrictions on chainsaw use, smoking and off-road travel. Firewood cutting is allowed all day, with a one-hour fire watch following chainsaw shutdown.
The Forest Service eased the fire restrictions Monday, although seasonal campfire rules remain in place to Oct. 31.
“The intent is to allow campfire use, while promoting safe campfire building techniques that, in the long run, will protect lives, property, and our natural landscapes,” said Roy Walker, fire management officer.
Here are the continuing campfire restrictions:
• Campfires are allowed only in fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread, clear of flammable material within a radius of at least 5 feet 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 must have an ax, shovel, and one gallon of water in their possession, except in certain developed recreation sites.
• Allowed: Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled gas and wood burning stoves equipped with a chimney that is at least 5 feet long with a spark-arresting screen of ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth.
• Also permitted: Use of charcoal briquettes with the same clearing requirements as those out for campfires.
For more information, call the Malheur National Forest, Blue Mountain Ranger District at 541-575-3000; Prairie City Ranger District, 541-820-3800; or Emigrant Creek Ranger District, 541-573-4300.