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Campfire, Bonfire Bans on All Washington Coast, Part of S. Oregon Coast

Published 07/02/21 at 5:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Campfire, Bonfire Bans on All Washington Coast, Part of S. Oregon Coast

(Washington Coast) – The Oregon and Washington coast are a flurry of changing bans and warnings right now, just as the holiday weekend gets underway. Due to extremely dry conditions, all of Washington and its coastline just banned campfires and charcoal use earlier today, one part of the southern Oregon coast has banned all beach fires and campfires, some Oregon forests have prohibited them, while Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and smaller municipalities are getting increasingly uneasy.

More bans are likely on the way, so be cautious when you're visiting any destination in the Pacific Northwest. Fireworks are illegal on all Oregon beaches and state parks, and many communities around Washington and Oregon have banned them.

For Washington State and its coast, Washington State Parks (WSP) just banned all wood and charcoal fires statewide and on the beaches starting at 5 p.m. Friday (July 2), and that now includes all fireworks on state park beaches.

“With extreme hot and dry conditions affecting the entire state, the campfire ban is necessary to help prevent accidental wildfires,” WSP said in a release. “All state parks and ocean beaches are under a level 3 burn ban or higher. Level 3 prohibits the use of wood fires and charcoal briquettes. Fireworks are prohibited at all state parks. Check local ordinances for firework restrictions on ocean beaches.”

Gas/propane self-contained camping stoves and portable gas/propane firepits are permitted in designated camping and picnic sites. See Washington fire updates.

On the southern Oregon coast, all beaches from the south face of Cape Arago to the north end of Floras Lake have banned just about all flame sources, about a 20-mile stretch of beaches. The fire ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers, according to OPRD. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have a shutoff valve are allowed.

The ban area includes Seven Devils State Recreation Site, Bandon, Whiskey Run Beach, Devils Kitchen, the Bandon State Natural Area and the remote beaches just north of Floras Lake.

All bans are until further notice.

On the rest of the Oregon coast and in state parks, campfires and beach bonfires are allowed, although OPRD is suggesting to err on the side of caution and forego the activity. See Oregon fire updates.

“New bans are coming fast and furious, so I wouldn't be surprised to see more on the coast or elsewhere,” said Chris Havel, a spokesman for OPRD. “Check before you go, or just skip the fire altogether to be extra safe.”

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

If you create a beach fire where they are permitted, OPRD has the following rules:

- 3'X3' or smaller
- made of natural, untreated natural wood free of attached metal, nails, glass or plastic objects (e.g., not pallets)
- started with non-petroleum-based products
located in open, dry sand well away (at least 25 ft.) from any vegetation, driftwood, other combustible materials or beach access points
- not located in dunes or in or near vegetation, small wood debris or log accumulations
- not left unattended
- not allowed to cause damage to facilities or natural resources
extinguished completely with water (NOT sand) before users leave the area
- not in seasonally restricted Western Snowy Plover habitat areas

“Don't start a fire unless you have the tools to put it out,” OPRD said on its alerts. “Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby. Never leave a fire burning unattended.”

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Bandon: courtesy Manuela Durson

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