Federal public lands agencies enacting additional fire restrictions in Malheur County


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Vale District Office

Media Contact:

Larisa Bogardus

VALE, Ore. – As the weather continues to warm and fire danger increases, the Bureau of Land Management, in collaboration with the Bureau of Reclamation, is implementing additional fire restrictions in Malheur County starting July 22.

The restrictions are intended to reduce the chances of wildfire starts on public lands in Malheur County, including the Owhyee Dam area, which is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. To avoid confusion, they are consistent with restrictions enacted by other local partner agencies such as Oregon State Parks, Rural Fire Districts, and other private lands in the County under the jurisdiction of the Malheur County Sherriff's Office.

“Grasses and other vegetation are drying out across Malheur County,” said Vale BLM Fire Management Officer Tracy Skerjanec.” These restrictions are necessary to keep the public and firefighters safe from accidental fires.” Beginning Friday, visitors must use liquefied or bottle-gas stoves or heaters with an on/off switch. Wood or charcoal fires are prohibited.

Smoking is prohibited outside a vehicle, camp trailer, or building, except within areas free of vegetation for at least 6 feet in diameter, or on a boat.

Motorized vehicles are one of the leading causes of wildfires in Eastern Oregon and must stay on established, maintained roadways while restrictions are in place. All motorcycles, All-Terrain Vehicles and side-by-side Utility Terrain Vehicles must also be equipped with an approved and functional spark arrestor.

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 27.

Visitors are encouraged to carry a fire extinguisher and/or a shovel and extra water. Do not shoot when it is hot and windy and ensure you have a backstop free of vegetation.

All wildfire starts on public or private land should be reported immediately by calling 911. For more information about current fire restrictions within Vale District BLM-protected lands, go to www.blm.gov/office/vale-district-office or call 541-473-3144. For more information about Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, visit https://www.blm.gov/orwafire

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.