Only You Can Prevent
Sagebrush Fires

You might think of forests when you think “wildfire,” but, as OPB reported in May, nearly 75 percent of all acres burned in the west over the past two decades were on rangelands — not forest.

As someone who lives in or visits sagebrush country, you have an important responsibility to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

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Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

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Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

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South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

With fire season approaching in Oregon’s high desert, here are three regulations to know and follow:
  1. All motorists should have required fire prevention equipment in their vehicle to ensure fire prevention and personal safety. With the exception of traveling on state and county roads, you are required to have: an axe, a shovel, and one gallon of water and/or one 2.5 pound or larger fire extinguisher.
  2. Smoking in wildland areas is permitted only in enclosed vehicles on roads.
  3. Open fires, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, are permitted only at posted and designated sites.
  • “Axe” means a wood cutting tool having a handle of not less than 26 inches in length and a head weight of not less than 2 pounds.
  • “Shovel” means a digging tool having a handle not less than 26 inches in length and a blade of not less than 8 inches in width. 

Know what is required by the BLM: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/get-involved/fire-prevention

And, here’s a bit more advice to keep in mind for a safe and enjoyable desert trip:
  • Avoid driving on roads where you see plants growing in the roadbed because they could catch fire after contacting your tailpipe or other hot parts of your vehicle.
  • Park only in areas where grasses and other vegetation will not be in contact with your vehicle.
  • Regularly check the undercarriage of your vehicle for debris or other flammable materials.
  • If you notice that your vehicle has come to a stop above flammable plant material, douse the area with water.
  • Know the fire risk of the areas you are traveling in

Find the latest conditions and restrictions: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions