Mt Hood National Forest Issues Campfire & Off Road Vehicle Restrictions
Due to continued dry and hot weather conditions on the Mt. Hood National Forest, officials issued public use fire restrictions on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
Campfires are now only allowed in fire rings located in designated developed recreation sites. The list of designated developed recreation sites where campfires are allowed is posted on the Mt. Hood National Forest web site Forest Orders page. Dispersed campfires, ATV use, and smoking outside enclosed buildings or vehicles will be prohibited on National Forest lands encompassing the entire Mt. Hood National Forest until these restrictions are lifted.
OHV use will be prohibited in the McCubbins, La Dee, and Rock Creek OHV areas.
Under these public use fire restrictions the following acts are prohibited on the Mt. Hood National Forest: – Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or charcoal fire, except in provided metal campfire rings or grills in designated recreation sites described in the Forest Order. Portable cooking stoves and lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel are permissible in dispersed areas. – Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed campground or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter, which is barren and cleared of all flammable material. – Operating a generator, except in designated developed recreation sites described the Forest Order. – Possessing or using motorized vehicles (Motorcycles, ATVs, OHVs, etc.) on National Forest system trails.
In addition, the entire Mt. Hood National Forest is under Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) 2. Restrictions on firewood cutting, timber operations, and other industrial operations performed on National Forest System Land will be required to follow IFPL 2 requirements. Included in these requirements is a prohibition on chainsaw use after 1:00 p.m. and the need to maintain a fire watch of at least one hour following the use of a chainsaw. For detailed information about IFPL regulations please visit the Fire Information page on the Mt. Hood NF website.
The Forest Service would like to remind forest users of one activity that can pose a significant risk of starting fires but is often overlooked: recreational target shooting. While target shooting is a legitimate use of National Forest System lands when conducted in a safe and responsible manner, it has the potential to ignite forest fires in hot and dry conditions. Shooters are reminded to remain vigilant and refrain from target shooting in the afternoon when fire danger is high.
If campers have a fire within a fire ring in a designated developed campground, they are encouraged to keep fires small. Campfires must be attended at all times and drowned with water, stirred, and be cold to the touch before being left unattended. Campers outside of designated developed campgrounds must use flame sources that can be turned off, such as a gas grill or propane camp stove. A good rule of thumb is, “if you can turn it off it’s allowed.” Wildfire starts with the current hot, dry conditions pose a greater threat to firefighter safety, public safety, and personal property in general and if a wildfire were to escape initial attack it has the potential to spread rapidly in these conditions. “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,” said Forest Supervisor Jim DeMaagd.
Individuals starting fires will be held responsible for the costs of property damage and staffing fires as well as criminal charges of any possible loss of life. The Mt. Hood National Forest asks visitors to please follow these rules to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.