Oregon bans campfires in state parks, forests east of I-5

Wildfires

A campfire at Champoeg State Park, August 8, 2019 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Starting Thursday, no campfires will be allowed in state parks and in state-managed forests east of Interstate 5, even in designated campfire areas.

The Oregon Dept. of Forestry says this includes:

  • Charcoal fires
  • Cooking fires
  • Warming fires
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Pellet grills
  • Candles
  • Tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers.
  • Portable cooking stoves or propane lanterns using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not. 

ODF said additional restrictions are possible. Humans cause 70% or more of the fires in Oregon, and the agency is working to prevent more from happening, saying the campfire ban is necessary.

Extremely dry conditions and heatwaves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

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