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In state parks and forests, campfire bans lifted east of I-5

Gary Meulemans

A wide-ranging ban on campfires in Oregon state parks and state-managed forests east of I-5 has been lifted. 

Throughout the summer and into early autumn, many sites restricted or outright banned campfires due to unseasonably warm and dry conditions. But now for those same areas on the east side of the Interstate, campers can proceed -with caution- as wildfire season is still ongoing.

Jason Cox is a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Credit Brian Beckwith / Unsplash.com

“For state forests, you’re essentially talking about the Santiam, Gilchrist, and Sun Pass state forests east of I-5," explained Jason Cox, spokesman for the Oregon Deparment of Forestry. 

"And in terms of state parks, what we really encourage folks to do is check with the parks before you go, to see what fire restrictions might still be in place.” 

While lightning causes a fair amount of wildfires, people still cause the most. The National Park Service says up to 85% of wildland fires are human-caused.

Cox said anyone can demonstrate safety and responsibility.

”Never abandon a campfire and make sure that it’s dead out before you leave. And a good way to do that is drown it in water, stir it into the embers, and then repeat that process. That’s the best to way to make sure that your campfire’s completely out before you leave.”

People are encouraged to go online and research conditions and restrictions at their destination, and prepare accordingly.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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