Tillamook County Pioneer – August 19, 2015
TILLAMOOK, Ore. – Yesterday, Tuesday, Aug. 18, Oregon and federal officials in charge of public forests tightened restrictions in area forests owing to high risk of fire.
Today, those restrictions are even more far-reaching, with many local and regional agencies imposing new prohibitions, all aimed at preventing wildfires in what the Oregon Department of Forestry calls “some of the most severe fire conditions in memory.”
For starters, due to extreme fire conditions statewide and elsewhere around the region, local officials have banned campfires throughout Tillamook County, according to Ed Wallmark, Tillamook State Forest Tillamook District protection unit forester. As a result, campfire permits that have been issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry and rural fire departments are rescinded until further notice. This ban applies to the entire Tillamook State Forest, Tillamook County Parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, all properties owned and managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department including ocean shores, and ODF protected public and private lands.
The ban encompasses campfires, even in established rings and pits, cooking fires, even charcoal and briquette, tiki torches, candles and sky lanterns, said Wallmark, adding that campers may continue to use portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels where permitted, with extreme caution.
Wallmark pointed out that a campfire ban is already in place for Siuslaw National Forest lands east of U.S. Highway 101.
“Your cooperation and efforts are greatly appreciated during this period of extreme fire danger,” said Wallmark. “As many fire managers have re-emphasized across the region, we don’t need any more fires on the landscape. This closure will be monitored closely and when conditions warrant, the campfire ban will be lifted.”
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department issued its ban on all campfires within parks and on ocean beaches, at 10 a.m. this morning. The ban will remain in effect for at least one week before parks officials evaluate fire status and weather and obtain guidance from local and state fire officials. “Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires on OPRD property that would further tax limited firefighting resources,” said M.G. Devereux, OPRD deputy director. “Most communities have sent local firefighters and equipment to help with wildfires throughout the state. An unintentional fire in a state park would add an unnecessary burden to firefighting efforts.”
The state park ban doesn’t apply to propane stoves and/or charcoal briquettes for cooking, but there may be local fire restrictions that do limit propane stoves and briquettes. Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information, or by calling the state park information line at 800-551-6949 or visiting www.oregonstateparks.org.
Tillamook County commissioners signed an order this morning banning burning for all Tillamook County Parks properties. Read the full order here:
Today the City of Rockaway Beach widened its burn ban from burn barrels and open burns to include fire pits.
If you have any questions about current restrictions in your community, contact your local fire district or department.