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Hunting and fire danger in Oregon

September 26, 2017

As early season hunters know, dry conditions and the associated fire danger can have a large impact on your hunting opportunity. It pays to check in advance to see if there are any access restrictions in the unit(s) you plan to hunt.

ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. However, hunters may face restrictions and reduced access to private lands during fire season.

Most public lands will be open to hunters during fire season, but there may be restrictions (see most common ones below). Some roads and areas on public land could be closed off due to current fires or firefighting activity.

Private landowners may close their properties to ALL access or have restrictions (such as no camping). See more information about private lands below.

It is each hunters’ responsibility to know access conditions and restrictions before heading afield. Here are some helpful places to find this information:

Here are some of the most common fire restrictions according to ODF:

  • Campfires are either prohibited or only allowed in approved campgrounds in many areas.
  • Smoking and off road driving is also prohibited in most areas, which includes motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
  • Vehicles must have either a gallon of water or a fully charged and operational 2½-pound fire extinguisher and shovel (except when travelling on state highways or county roads).
  • ATVs must have a charged and operational 2½ pound fire extinguisher.

More about access to private land during fire season

Landowners in Travel Management Areas or involved in ODFW’s Access and Habitat program have the right to close their lands during fire seasons. These landowners typically pull even their own contractors and workers (e.g. loggers) off their property when fire danger reaches a certain level. Ultimately their first obligation is to protect their property from the damage a devastating fire could cause.

Hunters can help keep landowners in the program by taking good care of the private property they use to hunt. Respect gate closures and travel restrictions, don’t litter and leave no trace.

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