Vale District Bureau of Land Management lifting fire restrictions effective Monday, Oct. 12
VALE, Ore. – In anticipation of more favorable weather conditions, Vale District Bureau of Land Management will be lifting fire restrictions effective Monday, Oct. 12.
Campfires, charcoal grills, chainsaw use, and other industrial activities will again be allowed on Vale BLM-protected lands, including Bureau of Reclamation Lands along the Owyhee and Snake Rivers.
"Just because fire restrictions are being reduced doesn't mean the fire season is over,” cautioned Al Crouch, Vale Fire Mitigation/Education Specialist. "Until the rain comes, it’s critical that we remain vigilant.”
Wildfires continue to burn throughout Oregon and the west, many of which were human in origin. The Vale District has experienced several human-caused fires this season, most notably the Indian Creek Fire which burned for several weeks in August.
“Fuel moistures are abnormally dry for this time of year and burning conditions remain higher than normal,” Crouch said. It’s not uncommon for the Vale District to have wildfires on warm, breezy days in October and even November.
A regional Oregon/Washington BLM fire prevention order remains in effect. Fireworks exploding targets and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on public lands. Safe shooting is allowed, but the use of incendiary and tracer ammunition, and the shooting of metal targets is not allowed. Steel and copper core ammunition and hard targets are known to cause sparks, which can result in a wildfire.
“Keep an eye on the weather, and check conditions and regulations prior to your trip” Crouch said. “Know before you go."
Vehicle use is permitted, and operators are encouraged to carry fire suppression equipment with them, such as a fire extinguisher, water, and a shovel, just in case. Keeping your exhaust systems and spark arrestors functioning properly, and staying off dry grass, will greatly reduce your chances of an unwanted ignition.
If you elect to have a campfire, you will reduce your chances of starting a wildfire by following these tips:
- Don't burn when it’s hot, dry, or windy.
- Avoid parking vehicles in dry grass when it’s hot or windy.
- Build your campfire in an area free of grass, brush, leaf litter, and overhanging branches. 10 feet of clearance is recommended.
- Keep fires small and never leave them unattended. Have plenty of water nearby just in case.
- Make sure fires are "dead out" by using the "Drown, Stir, Drown, Feel" method.
"The general public plays a valuable role in preventing fires,” said Tracy Skerjanec, acting Vale Fire Management Officer. “We want to thank everyone for doing their part to help keep our public lands and communities safe."
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.