Following a warm and dry spring, drought is emerging and expanding across much of the west. Central Oregon is expected to see warmer- and-drier-than-average conditions this summer. At the same time, as many facilities and areas are closed or allowing a limited number of visitors due to COVID-19 response measures, a higher-than-normal number of people are using public lands for recreation.

To reduce the number of preventable wildfires, the Prineville District Bureau of Land Management, the Deschutes National Forest and the Ochoco National Forest, and the Crooked River National Grassland, are implementing public use restrictions.

Effective Friday, June 26, open fires, including wood stoves and charcoal briquette fires, will be prohibited, except in the following designated campgrounds (Sisters Ranger District): Allen Springs, Allingham, Blue Bay, Camp Sherman, Candle Creek, Cold Spring, Driftwood, Gorge, Graham Corral, Indian Ford, Jack Creek, Lava Camp Lake, Link Creek, Lower Bridge, Lower Canyon Creek, Perry South, Pine Rest, Pioneer Ford, Riverside, Scout Lake, Sheep Spring, Smiling River, South Shore, Three Creek Lake, Three Creek Meadow, Three Creek Horse Camp, and Whispering Pines.

These restrictions do not apply to wildernesses on the Deschutes National Forest; however, these restrictions do apply to wildernesses and wilderness areas on the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM.

Additionally, under the public use restrictions, smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. Traveling off developed forest roads and trails also is not allowed, except for the purpose of going to and from a campsite located within 300 feet of the open developed road.

Officials remind the public that using explosive target material, such as Tannerite, explosives, and fireworks is prohibited on all federal lands.

For current wildland fire information, visit www.centraloregonfire.org or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.