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SOUTH COAST — As the weather warms up and fire danger increases, public use restrictions are being placed on local BLM lands.

According to a press release from the Coos Bay District of the Bureau of Land Management, these public use restrictions went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 1, for certain activities on BLM-managed lands in Coos, Douglas, and Curry counties.

These restrictions are to “prevent human-caused fire and reduce wildfire potential,” the release said.

According to the release, campfires are allowed at the following:

•           Edson Creek Campground

•           Fawn Creek Campground

•           East Shore Campground

•           Sixes River Campground

•           Smith River Falls Campground

•           Vincent Creek Campground

“In all other areas, visitors can use portable cooking stoves that use liquefied or bottled fuels,” the release said. “Otherwise, campfires or any other type of open fire, including the use of charcoal briquettes, is prohibited.”

The following activities are restricted:

•           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, 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, ax and at least one gallon of water or a 2.5 pound fire extinguisher,” the release said. “Violation of these restrictions can result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.”

For more 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.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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