Don't strike that match!
Citing hot weather and dry conditions, foresters have restricted campfires and prohibited all off-road motor vehicles in the Mt. Hood National Forest, effective immediately.
Campfires have been restricted to designated developed recreation sites — or, in other words, the metal campfire stoves, grills and man-made fire rings found in the most popular camping areas.
These designated burn sites can be found all over the million acre reserve, including in Barlow, Hood River, Clackamas River and Zigzag ranger districts. For a full list, click here.
"We know campfires are a big part of camping, but this year is unusually hot and dry so we all need to do our part to ensure the safety of the public," Forest Supervisor Jim DeMaagd said in a written statement.
Off-roading vehicles, including motorcycles, off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and ATVs, have been banned. That rule applies in all sections of the forest, including the McCubbins, La Dee, and Rock Creek OHV areas.
Forest users are asked to refrain from target shooting in the afternoon, when the risk of accidental ignition is highest. The U.S. Forest Service has also prohibited smoking outside enclosed buildings or vehicles. Use of a generator is prohibited outside of developed campsites.
Use of portable cooking stoves and lanterns powered by liquid or bottled fuel is still allowed. In this case, the rule of thumb is "if you can turn it off, it's allowed," according to a news release.
Under Oregon law, firebugs can be held responsible for any property damage caused by fire, and can even face criminal charges if an unauthorized burn leads to loss of life.