Campfires Are Temporarily Banned in the Columbia River Gorge

Increased wildfire risk means you’ll need to use a propane stove to cook your dinner while camping.

Campfires have been snuffed out for the remainder of summer and beyond in the Columbia River Gorge.

Due to the heightened risk of wildfire, the national scenic area has issued restrictions on activities that could spark an out-of-control blaze.

Starting this week, you can no longer build open fires, including those fueled by charcoal briquets, on any National Forest System lands in the Gorge. That applies to campgrounds and picnic areas that have fire pits or rings.

You can, however, use petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or other heating devices that can be turned off with a switch.

Other prohibited activities include smoking outside of vehicles, buildings and developed recreation sites, shooting a gun (unless hunting with a valid license), using fireworks (never allowed in the Gorge wilderness for obvious reasons: see 2017′s Eagle Creek Fire), and operating a welding torch, which, less face it, is a pretty odd activity to head to a Gorge trailhead to carry out in the first place—though rural residents should take heed.

These restrictions will remain in effect through Nov. 1 unless the national scenic area rescinds the order prior to that date.