Vale Bureau of Land Management enacting fire restrictions July 12

Vale DO
Media Contact
Larisa Bogardus

VALE, Ore. – To help prevent human-caused wildfires on public lands, Vale District Bureau of Land Management will be implementing additional fire restrictions beginning Friday, July 12.

These restrictions apply to Malheur and Baker Resource Areas and Bureau of Reclamation-managed lands around the Owyhee Dam, which are protected by Vale BLM Fire.

Open fires of any sort will be banned on the Malheur and Baker Resource Areas, and Bureau of Reclamation-managed lands around the Owyhee Dam, which are protected by Vale BLM Fire. Campers and other visitors can use liquefied and bottle-gas stoves and heaters within an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials.

Operating a motor vehicle off existing routes or on roads where dried vegetation may touch the undercarriage is also prohibited, as is the use of chain saws or blow torches, or cutting, grinding or welding metal.

Already this year, Vale firefighters have responded to, or assisted other agencies with, 20 wildfires on public and private property in eastern Oregon.

After lightning, equipment fires, including vehicle fires, are the most common cause of wildfires on Vale BLM-protected lands.

"We highly recommend proper maintenance and cautious safe operation of your vehicle when visiting or driving through your public lands,” Fire Mitigation Specialist Al Crouch said. “It’s always a wise practice to avoid parking or driving on dry grass."

Help prevent vehicle/equipment fires everywhere by:

  • Maintaining engines to prevent sparks from shooting out the exhaust. Motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles used on public lands must be equipped with a properly functioning and approved spark arrestor.
  • Ensuring vehicle and trailer tires are not worn, bearings and axles are greased, and safety chains are properly in place and not dragging on the ground.
  • Park in areas barren of flammable materials.
  • Carrying a shovel at least 26 inches in length with at least an eight-inch blade, and a one-gallon container of water or a fully charged 2.5-pound fire extinguisher.

Prohibitions against the use of fireworks, tracer and incendiary ammunition, and exploding or metal targets on public lands have been in place across the Oregon/Washington BLM region since May 24.

Anyone found guilty of violating a fire prevention order faces significant fines and/or imprisonment plus restitution for total cost of fire suppression and rehabilitation.

Copies of these restrictions are available to the public at Vale District offices; posted at federally-managed campgrounds, developed recreation sites and kiosks throughout the district; and online at

Any and all wildfire starts on public or private land should be reported by calling 911. For more information about current fire restrictions within Vale District BLM-protected lands, go to or call 541-473-3144.