Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming
Fire Danger May Affect Hunting Seasons
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that fire danger may restrict public use or close public land in specific regions of the state to all public use, including hunting. This may result in ODFW delaying hunting seasons, offering hunters opportunities in other seasons, closing hunting seasons or reinstating preference points.
"State and federal agency land managers understand it is critical we inform hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts about land closures at the earliest possible date," said Acting Wildlife Division Director George Buckner. "We're working very closely with our state and federal partners to determine if and when areas of the state will be closed to public use. Unless conditions in eastern Oregon change over the next couple of days, it is likely there will be some closures."
State and federal agencies met to discuss criteria that would be used to determine public land closures in areas of the state where fire danger is at critical levels. While the threat of fire from lightning strikes has lessened, fires caused by people are increasing. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, there have been 119 lightning-caused fires this year, compared to 430 fires caused by people.
Any changes to fall hunting seasons will be posted on the ODFW Internet site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us.
Question for Fish and Game
Fire Restrictions Await Deer Hunters
Utah's general archery buck deer hunt, and other big game hunts involving the use of muzzleloaders, begin August 19. Hunters afield during the hunts are reminded of fire restrictions that are in place across the state.
The entire state is under the following restrictions:
Further restrictions await those hunting in Utah's national forests. In addition to the campfire and smoking restrictions listed above, the following additional restrictions are in place in Utah's national forests:
Hunters using muzzleloaders are reminded that smoldering patches, sparks from caps and the flash from their gun barrels can present a real fire danger. The Utah Wildlife Board will discuss the issue of muzzleloaders and fire danger at its meeting in Salt Lake City.
Archers and other hunters are encouraged to call the agency that manages the land they'll be hunting, to learn if any areas have been closed because of fires that are currently burning.
Fire Ban Continues on Game & Fish Lands
Continued extreme fire danger across Wyoming has the Game and Fish Department reminding recreationists the ban on open fires and fireworks continues on all lands and facilities administered by the G&F. The G&F commends anglers and campers for good overall compliance with the ban that went in effect June 15. The ban will remain in force until it is rescinded when fire conditions improve.
Visitors can continue to use covered barbecue grills and propane grills at most G&F habitat management and access areas, but open fires are prohibited to help guard against a range or forest fire breaking out.
The G&F is also urging hunters and other recreationists to use utmost care on all public and private lands so no additional man-caused fires are added to the growing list of fires burning across the state. It is advised that all vehicles be parked in barren areas that offer no chance of a catalytic converter igniting grass. Smoking should only be done inside vehicles.
Both hunters and anglers are reminded fires of all kinds, including barbecue and smoking, are prohibited on G&F Walk-In and Hunter Management areas. If any fire is spotted on these areas, either wild or camp, please report it immediately.
Currently fire restrictions have been imposed by the Bureau of Land Management, most national forests and some counties. Recreationists are advised to check with the appropriate agency on fire restrictions and access closures.
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