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Hunters: Uphold your tradition of fire safety in the forest
Contact: Mary Ellen Holly, Keep Oregon Green, 503-559-7011 or
Rod Nichols, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, 503-945-7425
 
Oregon’s hunters overall are a safety-conscious group. Considering the thousands of hours they spend afield each year, there are relatively few gun-related mishaps. The same goes for wildfires. In 2008, only 14 fires were linked to hunters’ activities in the woods, and so far this year only one.
Before going afield, check the current fire restrictions where you plan to hunt:
  • Are campfires allowed?
  • Is off-road use of motorized vehicles permitted?
  • What about smoking?
 
Some areas of the state are still in fire season. Check with the nearest Oregon Department of Forestry office for fire safety regulations on state and private lands. For federal forestlands, check with the U.S. Forest Service.
Campfires - follow these simple steps to ensure your campfire doesn’t become a wildfire:
  • Always keep your campfire small.
  • Have a shovel and plenty of water, or a fire extinguisher, ready at hand.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • When putting out a campfire, drown it, stir the ashes and then repeat twice more.
 
Motorized vehicles – The exhaust system of highway vehicles and ATVs is a potential source of ignition for dry grass and shrubs.
  • Inspect the exhaust system on an ATV or highway vehicle to ensure it is undamaged and free of grass and twigs.
  • ATVs must have a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrester.
  • Avoid driving or riding where dry vegetation can contact the exhaust system.
 
Smoking – Depending on current fire regulations, smoking may be restricted to inside a closed vehicle or building. Make sure your cigarette is dead out and dispose in an ashtray, not on the ground.
 
The forest is a recreation site and a workplace for people. For the animals that live there, it is their home. Carelessness with fire can destroy wildlife habitat.
 
For more tips on fire safety in the forest, go to the Keep Oregon Green website, www.keeporegongreen.org.
 
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