2021 campfire/open flame restrictions

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Jul 21, 2021

Campfire ban east of Interstate 5 begins July 22

Ban includes state parks and state-managed forests

Due to fire danger and limited firefighting resources across the western U.S., effective Thursday, July 22 no campfires will be allowed in state parks and in state-managed forests east of Interstate 5 (I-5), even in designated campfire areas. This includes:

  • charcoal fires
  • cooking fires
  • warming fires
  • propane fire pits
  • candles
  • tiki torches
  • pellet-fueled grills and other devices that emit flames or embers.

Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels and propane/liquid-fueled lanterns are allowed

This ban covers all state-managed parks and forestlands east of Interstate 5, and includes prohibitions on fires in designated fire rings. The public can also anticipate restrictions in other areas based on fire danger. Restrictions may increase as fire danger rises in other parts of Oregon and will remain in place until conditions moderate.

State agencies strongly encourage checking fire danger levels and associated restrictions in a given area before traveling and daily during a visit. With hot, dry weather expected to continue and no relief forecasted in the foreseeable future – and several large fires on Oregon’s landscape – the step of banning campfires east of I-5 was deemed a necessary measure to protect life and property in what is already a very challenging and dangerous fire season.

Particularly in times of elevated fire danger, maintaining capacity to respond quickly to new fire starts is critical. Humans cause on average 70% or more of fires in Oregon, and these additional restrictions are intended to help reduce the number of human-caused fire starts. This will allow firefighters to focus on the existing large fires as well as new blazes that may emerge.

What you need to know when a campground is within wildfire Level 1 status

Before you arrive—or during your stay—a campground may be affected by a wildfire. The park could be subject to Level 1, 2, or 3 notification without warning. Incoming reservation customers will receive an email from us if a park is under a Level 1 status or if it is closed because of Level 2 or Level 3 status. The status will also be included in the fire restrictions list below when needed.

What does this mean and what should you consider for your trip?

  • If a park reaches Level 1, that means a fire is in the area, and you should be ready to evacuate if notified. Air quality may be affected. Visit the Oregon smoke blog and the Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Advisory map for the latest conditions.
    • If you choose to cancel your reservation when a park is at Level 1, standard charges and policies apply. Cancellation information
  • If a park falls within the Level 2 boundaries, it will be evacuated. Please follow the direction of park staff or law enforcement to safely leave the campground.
    • Your reservations will be canceled and all fees will be refunded.

Go to the Public Alert Wildfires 2021 web page to see a current map of wildfires burning in Oregon, and the levels and boundaries for a specific fire.

Fire restrictions listed by park

In addition to the statewide ban on campfires and open flames, east of I-5, some state parks and ocean beaches west of I-5 may have restrictions in place. See a list of those parks below.

Conditions may change quickly — check back for updates.

Questions? Send an email to our Oregon State Parks Information Center or call 800 551-6949.

Fireworks, explosives of any kind and pyrotechnic devices are prohibited in Oregon State Parks.

Willamette Valley - statewide ban east of I-5 in effect

No campfires even in designated campfire areas. This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires,  candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not.

Ban also applies to Willamette River Greenway properties

Coast

North Coast parks

None at this time

Central Coast parks

None at this time

South Coast parks and beaches

All beaches from the south side of Cape Arago to the north end of Floras Lake:

  • Fire ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers.
  • Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have a shutoff valve are allowed.
  • Fireworks are prohibited year round on all Oregon beaches.
  • Check the Coos Forest Protective Association for fire danger levels.
  • Look for signs at all beach access points.

Gorge - statewide ban east of I-5 in effect

No campfires even in designated campfire areas. This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, pellet-fueled grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not.

Central -  statewide ban east of I-5 in effect

No campfires even in designated campfire areas. This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, pellet-fueled grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not.

Eastern - statewide ban east of I-5 in effect

No campfires even in designated campfire areas. This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, pellet-fueled grills,  candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not.

Southern - statewide ban east of I-5 in effect

No campfires even in designated campfire areas. This includes charcoal fires, cooking fires, warming fires, pellet-fueled grills, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottle fuels are allowed, though propane fire pits are not.

Campfire safety

Where campfires are allowed, follow these tips:

  • Maintain campfire flames at knee height, or roughly two feet high. A smaller flame helps prevent ash and embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out.
  • Build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation. Don't use the campfire as a trash can. Throw away leftover food in garbage and cans and containers can be recycled if available in the campground.
  • Always keep plenty of water nearby so you can use it to safely put out the campfire. Drown the flames with water and carefully stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat and embers unless they are drowned out.
  • Beach campfires should be on open sand and away from driftwood or vegetation. Slowly pour water on your beach fire to put it out. Don’t pour the water too quickly because hot sand can fly up and hit anyone nearby. Also, don’t use sand to put out a beach fire. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn someone hours or even days later.
  • Follow the same safety precautions for propane fire rings as you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may vary statewide, depending on local conditions.
  • Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.”

Resources

For breaking news and information, follow the Twitter accounts and Facebook pages for Oregon State ParksOregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Oregon Department of Emergency Management.