Vale, Or-Vale District Bureau of Land Management is lifting local fire restrictions effective Oct. 1, but a regional fire prevention order will remain in place through Oct. 31.
Shorter days, cooler temperatures and sporadic precipitation have combined to reduce the risk of wildfires, but have not eliminated the risk, Fire Mitigation Specialist Al Crouch said.
“Just because it’s a little cooler, doesn’t mean it’s not dry,” Crouch said. “Lifting restrictions doesn’t mean that wildfires can’t ignite or that fire season is over. Historically, we have experienced some large fires in the fall, which typically occur on warm windy days.”
Vale District fire restrictions apply to the Malheur and Baker Field Offices, National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center grounds and Bureau of Reclamation lands around the Owyhee Dam.
Wood-fueled campfires, smokers, woodstoves, portable braziers and charcoal briquettes are once again allowed, as is cross country vehicle travel, outdoor smoking and equipment operation of all types, however, caution is still advised. Choose camping locations that are free of flammable vegetation and have a bucket of water and shovel to drown-stir-drown again any campfires or coals.
Also carry a small fire extinguisher in case of equipment fires. After lightning, wildfire starts on the Vale District are most often caused by equipment. Most equipment fires are vehicle-related, such as dragging parts or chains, worn brake pads creating sparks, and parking or driving through dry grass and vegetation.
Under the Oregon/Washington BLM fire prevention order, which remains in effect through Oct. 31, the following activities remain prohibited:
∙ Discharging or using fireworks or pyrotechnic devices.
∙ Discharging or using combustible or explosive composition or chemical devices, including but not limited to exploding targets.
∙ Discharging or using tracer, explosive, steel core or incendiary ammunition.
∙ Releasing or causing to be released any sky lanterns, airborne paper lanterns, aerial luminaries and/or fire balloons. ∙ Shooting at any metallic object, including but not limited to using metal targets for target shooting.
For more information about Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, visit https://www.blm.gov/orwafire