Fire danger rises as Oregon experiences another hot week

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Fire danger is rising across the state as Oregon’s hot summer continues, prompting Forest Department officials to expand restrictions for forest lands in the state.

A ban on open campfires and target shooting went into effect last week in the Mt. Hood National Forest, as dry conditions and prolonged heat make forested areas more vulnerable to wildfires. .

Now, those bans have spread to other areas of northwestern Oregon.

Campfire and off-roading restrictions went into effect Tuesday at 1 a.m. in eastern Clatsop, Columbia, Washington and Yamhill counties, and in the Tillamook State Forest.

All off-road trails in Mount Nicolai and Tillamook Forest will close at 1 p.m. daily until the fire danger level decreases. All campfires and barbecues are prohibited at Nicolai and Lost Lake.

Affected campsites include Shingle Mill, Viewpoint, Kerry and Plympton.

Fires in designated fire pits will be permitted at Henry Rierson Spruce Run, Gnat Creek, Northrup Creek Horse and Beaver Eddy campgrounds in Clatsop County.

Fires and barbecues at undesignated Tillamook campsites are also prohibited. Tillamook Forest will allow fires in designated metal fire pits.

Burn barrels and residential campfires are not permitted due to increased fire risk. Fireworks, explosive ammunition for target shooting and sky lanterns are also prohibited during fire season.

Extended periods of high temperatures, a dry summer and intermittent thunderstorms in the region have prompted increased precautions, according to Mt. Hood National Forest spokesperson Heather Ibsen. These restrictions have become more common over the past five years, she said.

These changes will be in effect until the fire danger subsides depending on weather conditions, Forestry Department spokesman Neal Bond said. Restrictions are expected to last through mid-October at Mt. Hood.

Ten wildfires have been reported in Oregon, which Oregonian/OregonLive monitors are experiencing with its wildfire tracking map.

–Austin De Dios; [email protected]; @austindedios; (503) 319-9744

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