New fire restrictions in place for southern Oregon

Posted at 11:03 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 13:04:12-04

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is prohibiting campfires at all BLM-managed campgrounds in the Medford District to prevent human-caused fires and reduce wildfire potential. In a news release, the BLM said effective immediately, additional public use restrictions will apply to certain activities on lands managed by the BLM in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Under the new restrictions, campfires and any other type of open fire, including the use of charcoal briquettes, is prohibited on BLM managed land. Portable cooking stoves that use liquid or bottled fuels are still allowed.

The BLM says power-driven machinery is prohibited in forested areas. Power saws, equipment used for the cutting, grinding or welding of metal, mowing of dry and cured grass with power equipment and the use of any other machinery that emits sparks using an internal combustion engine are included in the restriction.

The following activities continue to be restricted:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal briquettes except at a designated area.
  • Smoking is only allowed while inside a vehicle or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is clear of flammable vegetation.
  • Operating a motor vehicle and parking off-road (including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles) is only allowed on roadways clear of flammable vegetation.
  • Using fireworks, exploding targets or tracer ammunition is prohibited.
  • Using a chainsaw or other equipment with internal combustion engines for felling, bucking, skidding, woodcutting or any other operation is prohibited.
  • Welding or operating a torch with an open flame is prohibited.

Visitors to lands managed by the BLM are required to carry tools with them to ensure small fires can be put out quickly, including a shovel, ax and at least one gallon of water or a 2.5-pound fire extinguisher. Violation of these restrictions can result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

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