Photo courtesy Flora Gibson
A doe Mule Deer keeps an eye out for trouble as it browses leaves in the foothills of Mt. Hood. Fire restrictions have been increased throughout the Mt. Hood National Forest.
As of Saturday, September 9, 2017
Wildfires and extreme fire danger have prompted new fire restrictions and closures in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
All campfires and target shooting are now prohibited across the forest.
The forest also issued a more stringent Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) that governs industrial uses on the forest. All spark emitting machinery use such as chainsaws, tractors, skidders, or mechanized loaders are now prohibited.
IFPL Level 4 is referred to as “General Shutdown.” The new restrictions include the use of any motorized vehicle or equipment off of National Forest System Roads.
A campfire ban went into effect across the Mt. Hood National Forest on Sept. 4, due to increased fire danger. This temporary ban prohibits all campfires, even in developed sites and in campfire rings.
The use of chainsaws and generators is banned and smoking is also prohibited, except in vehicles and trailers.
Campers may still cook with portable cooking stoves that use pressurized, liquid gas (those that turn off with a switch).
“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 the public and firefighters,” DeMaagd said.
This is a change from the Public Use Restrictions issued on Aug. 9 which limited campfires to designated campgrounds.
The fire ban includes all developed campgrounds and wilderness areas.
Fires in dispersed or general forested areas remain prohibited as well.