Bootleg Fire Watershed Damage

The Bootleg Fire burned 413,765 acres in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

Thanks to recent wetting rains and cooler temperatures, the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership has reduced the fire danger from “extreme” to “high” in many areas in Klamath and Lake Counties.

Public use restrictions will be lifted on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, wildlife refuges and the Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District, with the exception of the Klamath River Canyon. Oregon Department of Forestry Regulated Use Closures remain in effect, according to a SCOFMP release.

That means campfires are now allowed in most areas.

“While days are getting shorter and humidity levels are increasing, fuels are still dry and caution should still be used to prevent wildfires,” the release said, urging visitors to public lands to remain cautious about fire starts with the lifting of the restrictions. Fuels are still dry, and much of the area remains in exceptional drought.

The Industrial Fire Precaution Level is also being reduced from Level III to Level II, having been knocked down from Level IV several weeks ago. Power saws, cable yarding, blasting, welding and metal cutting is allowed between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.

“We know the public is eager to get back to normal fall activities, like woodcutting and hunting camps,” said Interagency Deputy Fire Management Officer Coley Neider. “Conditions are improving enough to allow chainsaw use and campfires, but the forest and desert are still dry. We are asking everyone to be careful to not start a wildfire.”