Effective June 1, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) prohibits the use of fireworks, target shooting with exploding targets, and the firing of a tracer or incendiary device on all BLM-managed public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. The ban will be in effect from June 1, to October 20, 2018.
Wildfire conditions are expected to be normal in the Pacific Northwest through June followed by above normal significant large fire potential for southeastern Washington and southern and north central Oregon for July. Above normal significant large fire potential is expected east of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington in August and also for extreme southwestern Oregon as well according to a report by the National Interagency Fire Center. The full report is available online.
“As we approach summer and the time for families and friends to enjoy our public lands, the BLM wants to remind everyone to play it safe with campfires and outdoor cooking. Remember sparks fly and even a small breeze can fan the flames. We want to protect our wildlife habitats, watersheds, rangelands, and forests – the lands that work for you,” said Jamie Connell, State Director for BLM Oregon/Washington.
“While lightening can cause wildfires, most wildfires are caused by people including the use of exploding targets. And with more of us living near areas that border public lands, the risk of fire to homes and communities has increased along with an increased cost to fire suppression.” explained Connell.
Those who ignite fireworks, exploding targets, or incendiary devices on BLM-managed lands can be fined up to $1,000, receive a prison term of up to one year, or both. An incendiary device is defined as any firebomb, and any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of fire, and consisting of an incendiary substance or agency and a means to ignite it. Examples include but are not limited to a flamethrower, Molotov cocktail, or accelerant. In addition, individuals responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.
The BLM cooperates with the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group to fight wildland fires in the Pacific Northwest. The Geographic Area Coordination Center offers updates on the fire potential regionally and nationally and the NW Coordination Center provides updates in the Pacific Northwest.