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Restrictions become more 'stringent' for visitors to campgrounds, wilderness areas in light of recent fires

COURTESY PHOTO: U.S. FOREST SERVICE - Campfires, 'spark emitting machinery' and target shooting are prohibited in the Mt. Hood National Forest.With multiple fires raging across the region and fire danger at an all-time high, campfires and target shooting have been prohibited on the Mt. Hood National Forest.

The temporary campfire ban has been in effect since Monday, Sept. 4, and forbids visitors from building fires in all developed sites and campfire rings. Smoking outside of vehicles is also prohibited.

Forest officials have also put a ban on the use of "spark emitting machinery, such as tractors, skidders, chainsaws and generators.

"With current extreme fire conditions, a small spark can quickly become a large wildfire," said Jim DeMaagd, deputy forest supervisor for the Mt. Hood National Forest.  "We did not make this decision lightly but we're doing all we can to protect public and firefighter safety."

This ban is considered a Industrial Fire Precaution Level 4 or "General Shutdown", and applies to "any motorized vehicle or equipment off of National Forest System Roads."

Visitors may still use portable cooking stoves, but only those which require pressurized, liquid gas that can be turned off with a switch.

These restrictions apply to all campgrounds and wilderness areas within the forest.

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