Campfires, smoking banned in Umatilla National Forest

PENDLETON, Ore. -- Most campfires and smoking now are banned in the Umatilla National Forest because of increased fire danger, hot and dry weather conditions and concern for public safety.

"Though we've had a fairly quiet fire season on the forest so far, the continued hot, dry weather conditions have cured fine fuels and increased the potential for wildfire," said Chris Johnson, deputy fire staff officer. "Fires that do occur become more difficult to control as we head into August."

Building and tending of open campfires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited, except in fire pits at campgrounds and other designated recreation sites.

Permissible sources for cooking or heat include pressurized gas barbecues, stoves and space-heating devices.

Smoking is allowed only within enclosed vehicles, buildings or developed recreation sites or when stopped in an area cleared of all flammable material.

Firewood cutting is allowed, although additional restrictions are anticipated soon.