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Clackamas Fire District, Mt. Hood National Forest restrict campfires in 'extremely dry' conditions

FILE PHOTO - A burn ban was issued by Clackamas Fire and the Oregon Department of Forestry on July 25 because of "high temperatures, extremely dry conditions and a lack of any recent rainfall."As of noon Wednesday, July 25, all outdoor burning is banned within boundaries of the Clackamas Fire District No. 1 until further notice.

The burn ban was issued by Clackamas Fire and the Oregon Department of Forestry because of "high temperatures, extremely dry conditions and a lack of any recent rainfall."

"The Fire District will likely stay in a total burn ban until the end of fire season and conditions change," Clackamas Fire Deputy Chief Doug Whiteley said.

The ban prohibits all outdoor fires of any kind, including recreational campfires, fire pits and the burning of yard debris agricultural materials.

In conjunction with the ban, Mt. Hood National Forest officials have prohibited activities, such as target shooting, ATV use, and smoking outside enclosed buildings or vehicles.

Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use will be prohibited in the McCubbins, La Dee and Rock Creek OHV areas until ban conditions are lifted.

"We know campfires are a big part of camping, but this year is unusually hot and dry so we all need to do our part to ensure the safety of the public," Forest Supervisor Richard Periman noted. "With these kinds of conditions any fire can become a big problem fast, putting lives and property at risk."

People who reside in rural areas are encouraged to take precautions to ensure fire safety at home and prevent structural fires by ridding the area of excess vegetation and making sure their property is accessible for fire engines.

Forestry crews have already had to extinguish more than 60 abandoned campfires and several other human-caused wildfires throughout the forest this summer. There are currently 16 large fires of more than 100 acres in size actively burning in Oregon and Washington.

For updated information from the Mt. Hood National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mthood/alerts-notices. People can also call Clackamas Fire District No. 1's Fire Prevention Office at 503-742-2660 or visit our website at www.clackamasfire.com for further information on the fire ban.

According to a statement from forestry officials "Individuals starting fires will be held responsible for the costs of property damage and firefighting efforts as well as criminal charges (related to) any possible loss of life. The Mt. Hood National Forest asks visitors to please follow these rules to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment."

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