(Oregon Coast) – Oregon’s problem with extreme fire dangers hit home today with fire restrictions that reach all the way to fires on the beaches. State officials banned all recreational fires, including campfires, at all Oregon State Parks – and that includes the much-loved tradition of having a fire on the beach.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) sent out the ban today for all state park properties around Oregon. Even coastal forests were hit with such a ban this week, but today OPRD prohibited any and all fires on the sands of Oregon coast beaches.
Other restrictions include fire pits, tiki torches and candles.
“Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires on OPRD property that would further tax limited firefighting resources,” said MG Devereux, OPRD Deputy Director. “Most communities have sent local firefighters and equipment to help with wildfires throughout the state. An unintentional fire in a state park would add an unnecessary burden to firefighting efforts.”
Lincoln County – which includes Oregon coast towns of Yachats, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and Newport – has also joined in with the statewide ban and is prohibiting such burning on all its properties. This now puts smaller county or city parks and forest lands under the fire ban as well.
Chris Rampley, Fire Prevention Officer with Newport Fire Department, said fire dangers are at an extreme high right now, even in the normally-damp regions of the Oregon coast.
“To compound the danger, most local fire agencies currently have resources deployed to assist with fighting the many wildland fires active in eastern Oregon,” Rampley said. “Lincoln County has sent out two task force groups in the past several weeks, and will probably be activated again in the coming days. The unusually high fire danger coupled with the reduced available firefighting resources make a complete ban on burning the right thing to do.”
Officials say the state parks ban does not apply to charcoal briquettes for cooking or propane stoves, but there may be local fire restrictions that do limit propane stoves and briquettes. Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information, or by calling the state park information line at (800) 551-6949 or visiting www.oregonstateparks.org.
There will be no beach fires allowed for at least one week, along with the other restrictions, OPRD said. The situation will then be reevaluated based on fire status, weather, and guidance from state and local fire officials. More about Oregon coast beach safety.