Oregon Parks and Rec. bans all campfires, even candles, in state - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Oregon Parks and Rec. bans all campfires, even candles, in state parks

SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has banned all campfires in state parks and any other properties owned and managed by the department as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The ban includes fire pits, tiki torches and candles, as well as beach side fires. This ban follows an earlier partial ban that only covered select state parks.

The statewide campfire ban is the first in Oregon State Parks history.

OPRD Deputy Director MG Devereux said the goal was to prevent further strain on fire crews already taxed fighting huge wildfires like the County Line 2 and Canyon Creek Complex fires.

"Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires on OPRD property that would further tax limited firefighting resources," Devereux said in a news release. "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."

“I wondered what took them so long,” said Nancy Miller, a Monmouth resident who was camping at Champoeg State Park.

Miller, like several people camping at the park, brought a propane stove to cook with in anticipation of a campfire ban.

“I never depend on a campfire. For heat or for anything else, she said. “But I usually come with wood. This time didn’t come with wood. I didn’t think it was a good idea. It’s so dry it’s unbelievable.”

The campfire ban was a bit disappointing for at least one young camper.

Champoeg State Park staff started enforcing the ban Tuesday night, right before Mark Rutledg and his grandson were planning to make s’mores.

“We had it all out, the sticks included. He was so disappointed about the s’mores,” said Rutledg. “It’s not unreasonable. I was just surprised we were still able to have them here. But it’s so dry everywhere, just grin and bear it.”

The ban does still allow propane stones and charcoal briquettes for cooking, but local fire restrictions may apply to those fire sources.

OPRD suggests travelers headed to a park check with park staff for the latest information, by calling 800-551-6949 or logging on to OregonStateParks.org.

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