Gifford Pinchot National Forest issues fire restrictions effective August 3

Beginning Friday, August 3, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is prohibiting open campfires throughout the forest.  Fires will only be allowed in metal fire pits or rings in developed recreation sites.  A list of approved campgrounds where campfires will be permitted can be found on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest web site at:

“This year is setting records for conditions that could create severe wildfires,” said Deb Roy, Fire Management Staff Officer for the Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Hood National Forests.  “Even with the temporary cool down in temperatures, our hot and dry summer has contributed to a high risk of wildfires, especially as we approach the peak of our local fire season.”

Under this fire restriction, wood and charcoal fires are only allowed in developed campgrounds and picnic areas that have established metal fire pits or rings.  Building and tending open fires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires, and warming fires are prohibited until further notice.  Permissible sources for cooking also include portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.  Smoking outside of vehicles is also prohibited.  Violators can be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned up to six months in jail.

“Even where campfires are permitted, the fire should be totally extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving the site,” said Roy.  “Use the metal campfire rings in the campgrounds, clear vegetation away from any flame sources, and keep a shovel and bucket of water close by.”

Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) 2 also remains in effect on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Restrictions on firewood cutting, timber operations, and other industrial operations performed on national forest lands will be required to follow IFPL 2 requirements.  Included in these requirements are a prohibition on chainsaw use between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and the need to maintain a fire watch of at least one hour following the use of a chainsaw.

Campfire and IFPL restrictions will remain in effect until there is significant moisture to lower the fire danger.