Campfires outlawed in Oregon national forests

Leave the s'mores ingredients and hot dogs at home.

Citing extreme wildfire danger, federal officials announced a ban on all campfires in Willamette National Forest, even in at campgrounds and in campfire rings.

The ban, which includes the majority of campgrounds in the Cascade Range east of Salem and Eugene, is effective starting Saturday.

This temporary ban also prohibits the use of chainsaws, generators and smoking except in vehicles, trailers and developed recreation sites. Campers can still cook with portable cooking stoves that use pressurized, liquid gas (those that turn off with a switch), officials said in a news release.

Officials cited the multiple large fires burning in the forest, including the Whitewater, Rebel and numerous smaller fires as the reason for the decision.

Related: How the Whitewater Fire sent eclipse plans up in flames

“With current extreme fire conditions, a small spark can quickly become a large wildfire,” said Holly Jewkes, Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Willamette National Forest. “We do not make this decision lightly but we’re doing all we can to protect public and firefighter safety.”

At the same time, Mount Hood National Forest announced a ban on campfires in wilderness and dispersed areas. However, campfires will still be allowed in the national forest east of Portland and north of Detroit.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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