As the weather warms and fire danger increases, Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District officials are implementing public use restrictions on BLM-managed lands on the southern Oregon coast. Starting June 11 at 12:01 a.m., certain activities on BLM-managed lands in Coos, Douglas, and Curry Counties will be restricted to prevent human-caused fire and reduce wildfire potential.
Under the current restriction, campfires are allowed at the BLM’s Smith River Falls Campground, northeast of Reedsport on the Smith River. In all other areas, visitors can use portable cooking stoves that use liquefied or bottled fuels. Otherwise, campfires or any other type of open fire, including the use of charcoal briquettes, is prohibited.
“While we have received some precipitation this week, it is still extremely dry in the forests,” said Steve Lydick, Coos Bay district manager. “We responded to several abandoned campfires over Memorial Day weekend at our recreation sites and we need visitors’ help preventing a wildfire from starting in these challenging conditions.”
According to Coos Forest Protective Association, the area received only one inch of rain in April, and only slightly more in May. The rainfall average in these months is typically around three inches.
In addition to campfires, the following activities are restricted:
- Smoking is only allowed while inside a vehicle or while stopped in an area at least three 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, wood cutting or any other operation is prohibited.
- Welding, or operating a torch with an open flame, is prohibited.
Visitors to BLM-managed lands are also required to carry with them tools to ensure small fires can be put out quickly, including a shovel, axe 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.
For updated information on public use restrictions, visit www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions and the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.coosfpa.net.