MEDFORD, Ore. – As the weather continues to warm and fire danger increases, Bureau of Land Management Medford District officials are implementing public use restrictions on BLM-managed lands in southern Oregon. Starting July 18, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., certain activities on BLM-managed lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties will be restricted to prevent human-caused fire and reduce wildfire potential.
Despite a wet spring, conditions are warming and drying rapidly. Most of Jackson and Josephine counties are in severe to extreme drought. Significant fire potential is expected to be above normal for Southern Oregon throughout July and August.
Starting July 18, campfires will only be allowed at the Hyatt Lake Campground and the lower section of the Rogue River below the high-water mark. In all other areas, visitors can use portable cooking stoves that use liquefied or bottled fuels. Otherwise, campfires or any other type of open fire, including the use of charcoal briquettes, is prohibited.
Additionally, 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 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM. A firewatch of at least one hour is required following the use of a saw.
- Welding, or operating a torch with an open flame, is prohibited between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
Visitors to BLM-managed public lands are also required to carry tools with them to ensure small fires can be put out quickly, including a shovel, axe and at least one gallon of water or a 2.5-pound fire extinguisher.
Violation of these restrictions can result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
The safety of the public and all wildland fire responders is always the number one priority for all wildland fire agencies. BLM officials are taking the necessary steps to ensure their ability to deploy firefighters for wildfire response. Officials stress their commitment to the most efficient wildland fire suppression operations during these challenging times.
For updated information on public use restrictions, please visit https://www.blm.gov/orwafire and the Oregon Department of Forestry at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx
Visit https://www.ready.gov/wildfires to learn how you can prepare for fire season.