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The river fire closures prohibit building, igniting, maintaining, attending, using, tending or being within 20 feet of a campfire, charcoal fire or any other type of open flame.  

Annual campfire restrictions went into effect June 1, on portions of the Crooked, Deschutes, John Day, and White rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus.

BLM officials explain that the river canyons present a combination of limited access, grassy fuels that dry out quickly and steep slopes that allow wildfires to spread rapidly.

Under these restrictions, commercially manufactured lanterns and metal camp stoves used for cooking are allowed, when fueled with bottled propane or liquid fuel and operated in a responsible manner. The river fire closures prohibit building, igniting, maintaining, attending, using, tending or being within 20 feet of a campfire, charcoal fire or any other type of open flame.

The closure also bans the use of portable propane campfires and wood pellet burning devices and restricts areas where visitors can smoke to non-public buildings, inside vehicles, in boats on the water or while standing in the water.

The specific campfire closure locations apply to BLM-administered lands in the following areas:

Within ½ mile of the Crooked River's edge from the Bowman Dam to Lake Billy Chinook.

Within ½ mile of the Deschutes River's edge from the Highway 20 bridge to the Columbia River, including Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus.

Within ½ mile of Lake Billy Chinook's edge, including BLM Beach dispersed recreation site located approximately ½ mile east of the Three Rivers Recreation Area on the south shore of the Metolius River arm of the lake.

Within ½ mile of the Lower White River's edge from its confluence with the Deschutes River upstream to the eastern boundary of the Mount Hood National Forest.

Within ¼ mile of the John Day River's edge in the following locations:

The Mainstem John Day River from Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10) upstream to Kimberly (River Mile 185).

The North Fork John Day River from the confluence with the mainstem at Kimberly (River Mile 0) upstream to the Umatilla National Forest boundary (River Mile 62).

The South Fork John Day River from Smokey Creek (River Mile 6) upstream to the Malheur National Forest boundary (River Mile 47).

Closures are in effect until Oct. 15. Except in emergency conditions or with permission by an agency authorized officer, there are no exceptions to the closure. A violation of the closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months or both.


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