Due to dry and hot conditions, campfires are now prohibited across the Mt. Hood National Forest, including in developed campgrounds.
All campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires, or any other open fires are prohibited under a Forest Order. Portable cooking stoves and lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel are still allowed as they can be instantly switched off.
July was much drier than average, and August and September are predicted to have higher than average temperatures, said the USDA in a press release. These conditions will continue to increase the risk of wildfire, especially on the east side of the forest. At the same time, Mt. Hood is experiencing extremely high visitation, increasing the number of preventable fires, said the press release.
Forest Service crews extinguished over 100 abandoned campfires across the Mt. Hood National Forest in July.
"With the current dry, hot conditions any wildfire start poses a greater threat to firefighter safety, public safety, and personal property," said the press release. "This year every preventable fire also increases our firefighters’ risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, which could impact our ability to respond to fires as the season continues."
“We know campfires are a big part of camping, but this year especially we all need to do our part to prevent wildfires,” said Dirk Shupe, Fire Management Staff Officer for the Mt. Hood National Forest. “Fires caused by abandoned or escaped campfires create unnecessary risk for firefighters, our communities, and the forest.”
More forest information and the full text of the Forest Order is on the Mt. Hood National Forest website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mthood/fire. The forest also shares recreation, fire, and safety updates on its Facebook and Twitter accounts at: @MtHoodNF.
For more information about the local and regional fire outlook visit: https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/predict/outlook.aspx