Land managers around the Pacific Northwest are preparing for what could be another tough year for wildfires. All of the six counties that make up the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Gorge in a state of drought. This summer, whether vacationing in the Gorge or enjoying summer in your home town, please celebrate responsibly.
“As the climate changes, it is critical that all of us—Scenic Area county residents, tourists, campers, and day-hikers alike—take extreme care and act as responsible stewards for our public lands in the Columbia Gorge. Forests are no place for fireworks and in fact are illegal on federal and state public lands.”
“Be sure to follow all local advisories, and if campfires are allowed by local land managers, never leave a campfire unattended. And if you do hit the trails, please follow all trail closures and advisories, staying on official trails, packing out any trash with you, being courteous and considerate of others on the trail and those who live in nearby Gorge communities by observing parking restrictions.”
As of July 2, campfires are prohibited in state parks and national forest lands in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. They are also banned in Mt. Hood National Forest and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This includes open fires in developed campgrounds. Portable cooking stoves, lanterns and heating devices using propane are still allowed.
“With our world finally opening back up, all of us are eager to enjoy the best of what the Pacific Northwest offers. But please remember that one careless action can turn an enjoyable outing into a deadly situation. Please keep fire out of your holiday plans in our great outdoors.”
Five tips for traveling in the Columbia River Gorge during wildfire season:
- New to Oregon? Check out Travel Oregon’s helpful overview of what you need to know about wildfires in Oregon.
- Before leaving home, check official websites to find out if there is a wildfire in the area you plan to visit. Information on active wildfires can be found at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center and InciWeb—the national incident information system.
- Prevent human-caused wildfires by learning more about what causes them. Check out the Keep Oregon Green website.
- Cars, motorcycles and ATV’s can spark and overheat. Over grass by always driving on gravel and developed roads during wildfire season.
- More of a visual person? Check out the video below to learn more wildfires and their impact on Oregon—its landscape, its communities and its ecosystem.