South Central Oregon Still Experiencing Extreme Fire Conditions; Campfires No Longer Allowed in the Mt. Thielsen Wilderson

Contact(s): Erica Hupp (541) 883-6715; Lisa Swinney (541) 947-6261

Lakeview, Oregon -For the month of September, fire conditions in south central Oregon remain “EXTREME.”  The area continues to experience above average temperatures and prolonged periods of hot and dry weather.

“We are seeing atypical fuels conditions for this time of year,” said Clint Albertson, Interagency Fire Planner for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District and Fremont-Winema National Forest. “Fuel moisture and fire danger indices are still reaching well above normal and certainly providing a baseline level for significant fires to occur with windy, dry, or unstable conditions.”

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Fremont-Winema and Umpqua National Forests are no longer allowing campfires in the Mt. Thielsen Wilderness Area starting Tuesday, Sept. 9 at midnight. The Fremont-Winema and Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forests prohibited campfires in theSky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wilderness Areas in early August.  

The public needs to remember that the following public use restricts remain in effect for the entire south central Oregon area:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using campfires or stove fires are only allowed in designated campgrounds/areas. Specific site information may be obtained by contacting your local BLM, U.S. Forest Service or USFWS.
  • Portable cooking stoves utilizing liquefied or bottled fuel sources continue to be allowed on all public lands managed by the Fremont-Winema National Forest, BLM’s Lakeview District, and Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
  • Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is void of all flammable material, including vegetation.
  • A motorized vehicle (this includes all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, cars, pickups, etc.) may only be operated on roads where vegetation does not come into contact with the vehicle’s undercarriage.
  • Motorized vehicles parked off roadways must be in an area barren of flammable material, including vegetation.
  • Internal combustion engines (generators, etc.) not previously addressed may only be operated within designated campgrounds/areas.
  • Power saw operations are prohibited.
  • No welding equipment may be used, including acetylene or open flame torches.

Besides normal outdoor gear, some basic fire prevention equipment is also required:

  • All motorized vehicles must carry the following equipment: (1) one shovel not less than 26 inches in overall length, with a blade not less than eight inches wide; (2) one water container of at least one gallon in size filled to capacity or a 2.5 pound fully charged fire extinguisher; and (3) one axe or pulaski with a handle at least 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than two pounds.
  • Spark arresting devices must be properly installed and maintained on all internal combustion engines.

Members of the public are cautioned that failure to comply with these restrictions may result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

Albertson recognizes this is a popular time of year for recreationists, woodcutters, hunters and mushroom pickers to enjoy public lands in south central Oregon. “As soon as fuel moistures and fire danger indices indicate it is safe for us to reduce the fire danger level and lift public use restrictions we will do so,” he added.

When planning any outdoor adventure, people are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to check on location conditions and current restrictions. For south central Oregon, information on the Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (IFPL), current public use restrictions or designated campgrounds may be obtained by visiting the Web at:

For Information regarding restrictions that apply to Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands call 541-883­­-5681 or visit the following Web site:

For breaking news during the South Central Oregon’s fire season, please visit: or