With critical wildfire outbreaks all along the west coast from Southern California to Washington, we wanted to remind our camping community of the dangers of wildfires and provide you resources to stay safe.
Where are the Fires?: Photo From September 11 Map
Image from data.statesmanjournal.com
Virtual Maps to Track Wildfires
- U.S. Smoke and Fire Tracker Map
- Active Wildfire Map with Containment data
- State of Oregon fire and Hot Spots Map
- New York Times: Individual Fire Tracking Maps
How Do I Know if I Should Evacuate:
To learn more about fires in your area and preparations for evacuation, check in with your local government. You can find your county’s evacuation plans and warnings through their website. Evacuation probability is measured in levels.
- Level 1: You should prepare to evacuate.
- Level 2: You should be packed and ready to leave. If you have a bug out bag now is the time to get them out. It is recommended to leave during level 2 of an evacuation if possible.
- Level 3: It is time to evacuate. if you have the flexibility, it is recommended to leave before Level 3 as community panic can make it difficult to evacuate once level 3 is reached.
You can find local warnings through statewide management:
- Washington Department of Natural Resources: Wildfire Information
- NPR: Oregon Wildfire Evacuation Information
- Portland, Oregon Bureau of Emergency Management
- Cal Fire Evacuation Procedures
What is Closed?
California Wildfire Closures
At this time, California has closed all 18 National Forests due to wildfires.
- Eldorado National Forest — Closed
- Klamath National Forest — Closed
- Lassen National Forest — Closed
- Mendocino National Forest — Closed
- Modoc National Forest — Closed
- Six Rivers National Forest — Closed
- Plumas National Forest — Closed
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest — Closed
- Tahoe National Forest — Closed
- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit — Closed
- Stanislaus National Forest — Closed
- Sierra National Forest — Closed
- Sequoia National Forest — Closed
- Inyo National Forest — Closed
- Los Padres National Forest — Closed
- Angeles National Forest — Closed
- San Bernardino National Forest — Closed
- Cleveland National Forest — Closed
Colorado Wildfire Closures
The state of Colorado has enacted a statewide ban on open fires from Aug 19 to September 19.
- All Colorado BLM Lands — Stage 1 fire restrictions
- USFS Arapaho Forest — Stage 2 fire restrictions
- USFS Roosevelt National Forest — Stage 2 fire restrictions
- USFS Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Forest— Stage 1 fire restrictions
- USFS Gunnison National Forest — Stage 1 fire restrictions
Oregon Wildfire Closures
- Mount Hood and The Mount Hood National Forest — Closed, no access
- Columbia River Gorge State Parks — closed
- BLM Land in Oregon — Closed or limited access
- Siuslaw National Forest — Closed
- Willamette National Forest — Closed
- Tillamook State Forest — Closed
- Santiam State Forest — Closed
- Clatsop State Forest — Closed
- Gilchrist State Forest — Closed
- Sun Pass State Forest — Closed
- Casey State Recreation Site — Closed
- Collier Memorial State Park — Closed
- Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Area — Closed
- Illinois River Forks State Park — Closed
Washington Wildfire Closures
The Washington Department of Natural Resources has closed all public lands East of The Cascades until September 17 at least.
Utah Wildfire Closures
In Utah, most counties remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions. Make sure to check the county you plan to camp in before embarking on your trip. Fireworks have been outlawed until December 31st throughout the entire state.
- Setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fires of any kind, except within the facilities designated for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas or home sites where running water is present.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area that is paved or free from dry vegetation.
- Discharging or using any fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets.
- Cutting, welding or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
- Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.
Should you go camping?
Even if the area you are planning to camp in is still open, this might not be an ideal time to go camping if you are within a state with wildfire outbreaks. A few reasons why it might be best to refrain from camping if you are in a high fire danger state:
- 85% of wildfires are caused by humans: Even if you don’t plan to have a campfire, cook, or do anything with an open flame, there are still ways you can easily cause a fire with cigarettes, hunting, electricity, or even your car backfiring.
- Emergency services are limited: If something happens and you need to call for aid, you may be taking aid services away from people caught in a wildfire.
- Fire patterns can change quickly: This means that although you may be camping in a safe area if the winds change, a fire could change direction and move towards where you are camping.
- Air Quality can be bad even if you are a safe distance from a wildfire: If the air quality index is above 50, individuals with respiratory issues can be in danger and if it is above 200 it is recommended to stay indoors.
Understanding Wildfires and the Increase in Natural Disasters
- Understand how wildfires are caused and why they happen.
- Learn how you can prevent wildfires and educate your friends and family on fire safety and Leave No Trace Principles.
- Prepare for natural disasters with your bug out bag
- Make an evacuation plan in advance
- Help rebuild trails and public lands after wildfires
- Learn why natural disasters are becoming more common and more intense with climate change. Find resources that can help educate you and your loved ones on the effects of climate change.
The post 2020 Wildfire Danger & Camping: What’s Closed and How To Stay Safe appeared first on The Dyrt Magazine.