BEND, Ore. - With increased fire activity and an influx of visitors coming to Central Oregon for the solar eclipse, the Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association announced Thursday it will be banning recreational fires and campfires on private lands within all the fire districts in the tri-county region in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, campfires, including charcoal and pellet fires, will no longer be allowed. This is consistent with campfire restrictions on public lands taking effect at the same time. And like that action, portable cooking stoves or lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel may be used in all areas.
The tri-county fire chiefs carefully consider the current fire situation, fuel moisture and predicted weather before making the decision to ban open fires.
With the heavy demand on our firefighting resources, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of visitors projected to visit Central Oregon for the solar eclipse, every fire that’s prevented protects our communities and helps our firefighters remain available, rested and safe.
“In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires during the eclipse, the fire chiefs in the region feel banning recreational fires and campfires is the sensible thing to do,” said Matt Smith, Fire Chief, Crook County Fire & Rescue, and chair of Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association.
Residents are strongly encouraged to contact their local fire protection agencies for additional burning information and regulations.
All Central Oregon fire departments and rural fire districts will continue to monitor weather and fuel moisture conditions in their district and may make modifications on a day-to-day basis.
Please call your local outdoor burning information line for your current conditions. If conditions become drier, individual agencies may choose to close local burning sooner. Fire agencies will monitor fuels and fire conditions throughout the summer and anticipate the opening of burn season again in late fall.
For a full list of the local Fire Districts visit COFCA’s webpage.