The fire danger level on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has jumped to high because drought conditions in the region have left vegetation dry and easily ignited.
U.S. Forest Service officials issued the warning Monday, along with a laundry list of acts prohibited on the federal lands.
Fires are only allowed in designated recreation sites in approved fire rings, fireplaces or stoves. The Sky Lakes Wilderness and the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness are exempt from the ban. Commercial stoves that use liquid fuel or propane are permitted.
Smoking is prohibited except inside enclosed vehicles and buildings, designated recreation sites, aboard a watercraft or in an area cleared of vegetation over 3 feet in diameter.
Welding or operating an acetylene torch or similar type of device with an open flame is also prohibited. Violating any of the prohibitions can mean up to $5,000 in fines for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or up to six months in prison.
The fire danger rose to high on 1.8 million additional acres of state, private, county, city and BLM lands in Southern Oregon two weeks ago, which came with similar restrictions. Restrictions because of fire danger on the Rogue River's Wild & Scenic Section went into effect last week.
"Any unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape," forest officials said in a news release. "High-intensity burning may develop on slopes, or in concentrations of fine fuels. Fires have the potential to become serious and difficult to control."
For more information on restrictions and daily conditions, visit www.ormic.org or call 1-800-267-3126.