Bureau of Land Management bans fireworks, exploding targets

Through Oct. 20, the BLM is prohibiting the use of a number of items that lead to an increased risk of wildfires

Effective June 1, the Bureau of Land Management has placed a ban on the use of fireworks, target shooting with exploding targets and the firing of a tracer or incendiary device on all land managed by the bureau in Washington and Oregon.

The ban will be in effect through Oct. 20.

A firefighter battles a wildfire in this photograph published on the Bureau of Land Management’s website.
A firefighter battles a wildfire in this photograph published on the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

In a press release announcing the ban, the bureau wrote that wildfire conditions are expected to be normal in the Pacific Northwest through June followed by above normal significant large fire potential for southeastern Washington and southern and north central Oregon for July. Above normal significant large fire potential is expected east of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington in August and also for extreme southwestern Oregon as well according to a report by the National Interagency Fire Center. (Read the full report here: https://goo.gl/9gRtnA)

“As we approach summer and the time for families and friends to enjoy our public lands, the BLM wants to remind everyone to play it safe with campfires and outdoor cooking. Remember sparks fly and even a small breeze can fan the flames. We want to protect our wildlife habitats, watersheds, rangelands and forests – the lands that work for you,” said Jamie Connell, state director for the BLM in  Oregon and Washington. “While lightning can cause wildfires, most wildfires are caused by people including the use of exploding targets. And with more of us living near areas that border public lands, the risk of fire to homes and communities has increased along with an increased cost to fire suppression.”

Those who ignite fireworks, exploding targets or incendiary devices on BLM-managed lands can be fined up to $1,000, receive a prison term of up to one year, or both. An incendiary device is defined as any firebomb, and any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to people or property by means of fire, and consisting of an incendiary substance or agency and a means to ignite it. Examples include but are not limited to a flamethrower, Molotov cocktail or accelerant. In addition, individuals responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.

The BLM cooperates with the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group to fight wildland fires in the Pacific Northwest. The Geographic Area Coordination Center offers updates on the fire potential regionally and nationally and the NW Coordination Center provides updates in the Pacific Northwest.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Washington.

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