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Oregon Star Party 2014

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#1 Mr. AH

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 08:41 PM

The Oregon Star Party is pleased to announce that we will be returning to Indian Trail Spring in the Ochoco National Forest on August 19 through August 24, 2014.

Our Website will be updated in the next couple of weeks. We wish to thank everyone for their past support and hope to see you for our 27th year.

#2 bbbriggs

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:31 PM

Great, now I know when to put in for a week of vacation.

#3 Solar Ken

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:49 PM

What happened to the idea of moving OSP to July to avoid the August forest fires and thunderstorms?

#4 bbbriggs

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:23 PM

Photo from last year, 30 sec with canon t3i

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#5 audioaficionado

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:22 PM

What happened to the idea of moving OSP to July to avoid the August forest fires and thunderstorms?

If we don't get significant rain/snow in the region, July will also be very smokey late in the month during the new moon.

#6 Mr. AH

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:33 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 27, 2014

Dark Matters in Central Oregon

Oregon Star Party’s planning committee is pleased to announce that the 27th annual Oregon Star Party will take place from August 19 through August 24, 2014 at Indian Trail Spring in the Ochoco National Forest. Well known for its dark skies, Oregon Star Party is one of the largest annual star parties in the United States. At Oregon Star Party, Dark Matters!

Registration for the event will open on May 1, 2014.
Oregon Star Party’s daily schedule for the 2014 event will be filled with a range of activities from speaker’s presentations, youth activities, mentoring for youth and adults, a swap meet, and more. New activities at this year’s star party include an astrophotography level added to the Observing Award program, and a telescope park which will expand the nightly mentoring program. Regular favorites including the telescope walkabout will also take place again this year.

A new food vendor will be joining the star party’s regular amenities this year. Hailing from Hood River, OR, Four and Twenty Blackbirds will be offering both a la carte meals and pre-sold dinners. The ever-popular Shawna’s Espresso Blast and other amenities will return to help make camping in Eastern Oregon more comfortable.

Oregon Star Party's mission is to provide attendees the opportunity to meet people who share an interest in astronomy, learn something new, reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and just plain have fun. We welcome and encourage families and amateur astronomers of all ages. For registration and other information, please visit Oregon Star Party Homepage. Be sure to browse our website, and come back in May to register. We hope you'll join us at the 27th annual Oregon Star Party.

Potential sponsors, vendors, and volunteers: please contact Oregon Star Party: Oregon Star Party ContactUs.

#7 bbbriggs

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:35 AM

Registration sent in. Can't wait!

#8 Bill Jensen

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:33 PM

got my flight purchased, and a Eurovan rented. Can't wait!!

#9 Bill Jensen

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:39 PM

BTW-less than two weeks left for pre-registration. Save some $$ by registering early so you can spend more at the swap meet!

#10 Mr. AH

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:25 PM

As of today, (July 14), there are only 12 more days before Oregon Star Party's early registration closes July 26. After that, you'll need to register on site, at higher rates. As of today, nearly 291 people have already preregistered to attend the star party! Please visit Oregon Star Party's website, and register before July 26.

Some useful tips to remember when planning to attend Oregon Star Party:

Oregon Star Party is located in the heart of the Ochoco National Forest, a beautiful part of Eastern Oregon. In addition to learning a lot about astronomy and telescopes, there are many other activities available in the area including hiking, geocaching, and swimming in local lakes.

Our committee has filled the Oregon Star Party website with plenty of information to help you plan your stay, and travel to and from the star party.

Be sure to read and become familiar with information about camping, water, food, fire safety; what to bring and what to leave home.

Download and become familiar with maps of the OSP site, as well as driving directions. Be sure to carefully follow the driving directions from Prineville posted on the website, as following GPS directions can occasionally be misleading. Plan your trip so you arrive before dark, which will be at about 8pm. Those arriving after dark will need to camp near the entrance gate.

If you have a new telescope, ask others camping near you for help, or sign up for the adult or youth mentoring programs listed on the activities page.

We hope you'll join us at the 27th annual Oregon Star Party!

Oregon Star Party Website

#11 cjameswalk

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:13 AM

What happened to the idea of moving OSP to July to avoid the August forest fires and thunderstorms?


Forest Fires and Thunderstorms are definitely a problem, I agree. ( In more ways than one )

If they were to move it to July, that would shorten the darkness down to maybe 6 hours and that's pushing it I think.

But, if I had to choose between the two scenarios, I'd choose clearer skies with less time to observe and do it in July.

Hopefully they keep the controlled burns down to a minimum, and mother nature keeps the Lightning strikes down to a minimum.

I'm happy they do it though, that's for sure. Thanks :D

#12 hbanich

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:52 AM

What happened to the idea of moving OSP to July to avoid the August forest fires and thunderstorms?


Forest Fires and Thunderstorms are definitely a problem, I agree. ( In more ways than one )

If they were to move it to July, that would shorten the darkness down to maybe 6 hours and that's pushing it I think.

But, if I had to choose between the two scenarios, I'd choose clearer skies with less time to observe and do it in July.

Hopefully they keep the controlled burns down to a minimum, and mother nature keeps the Lightning strikes down to a minimum.

I'm happy they do it though, that's for sure. Thanks :D

There are several big fires burning right now in the Cascades and central Oregon, with one of the largest just north of the OSP site, so there's no guarantee of smoke-free skies in July, June, or even May, especially this year. Hopefully we'll get some cooler weather and some moisture so these fires can be controlled asap. But it's so dry out there that it only takes a few lightning strikes or a careless person or two for things to stay smokey for the entire summer. Given the drought, this looks like it will be the norm for quite awhile.

So that assessment is a downer! The upside is that we'll have a great OSP this year regardless. I'm hoping for the best.

#13 audioaficionado

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

That's why I made sure I got to a good star party early in the summer rather than later. Hope it works out for OSP this year. Maybe I'll go next year.

#14 Mr. AH

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 12:49 AM

As some of you maybe monitoring there are several fires in the Indian Trail Spring area. The OSP Committee is closely monitoring current wildfire conditions in central Oregon. We are in constant touch with the Prineville forestry crew, who is keeping us apprised of the current fire conditions at Indian Trail Spring and the surrounding area. The latest wildfire information will be posted on the OSP website, the Cloudy Nights forum, and here on the OSP Facebook page.

As you plan for this year’s Oregon Star Party, it is important that to remember some key points. Fire danger in the surrounding forest will likely be high. Conditions at OSP could include smoky skies, high daytime temperatures and very dry weather. There is always the potential for stormy weather, too. The OSP directors will be closely monitoring any potential lightning storms and high winds throughout the week during OSP. We will also maintain close contact with the US Forest Service.

The USFS requires each vehicle to carry these fire prevention supplies:
--a shovel
--an ax
--5 gallons of water reserved for fire suppression
.
In addition, ABSOLUTELY NO open fires or charcoal briquettes is permitted while at Oregon Star Party. Smoking is only allowed in your vehicle or on the graveled roadway. Dispose of cigarette butts in a fireproof container or inside your vehicle’s ashtray. If required by the USFS, the OSP Committee will implement more restrictive policies.

Questions? Ask an Oregon Star Party committee member.

#15 Mr. AH

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:34 AM

Earlier this afternoon, the Ochoco National Forest issued the following statement:

The Ochoco National Forest has issued an area closure that encompasses all National Forest system lands from Forest Road 42, along both the north and south forest boundary to Highway 26 on the west, with additional acreage north of the Mill Creek Wilderness. See link for further details on the closure - http://inciweb.nwcg....ent/maps/3972/.

There are several active wildfires within this area closure and fire managers ask that the public respect these closures for their safety and the safety of firefighters who will be working in the area. This order will be in place until rescinded.

This means that Indian Trail Spring, where Oregon Star Party takes place, is closed until further notice.

The directors of Oregon Star Party want to emphasize that the star party is still scheduled take place this year. We are continuing to work closely with the National Park Service and federal and local fire officials for quick updates and clarity on the conditions. Updates will be posted here, on the Oregon Star Party website, Oregon Star Party forum, and Cloudy Nights forum. The committee is doing everything possible to reinforce our dedication to the safety of everyone attending Oregon Star Party.

We are tremendously grateful to the fire fighters and everyone else involved in battling the wildfires not only in the Ochoco National Forest, but also throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their dedication and hard work is deeply appreciated and we hope for their continued safety.

#16 JMW

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:07 PM

Bummer, I hope the conditions improve for those planning to attend the OSP. We have been getting heavy thunderstorms in the area around Reno in the last week. The rainfall is great but the lightning has also started more fires.

I went to the OSP in 2012 for 6 nights and had a great time. Hope to be back in another year or two.

#17 Mr. AH

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:56 PM

We have just 5 days left before Oregon Star Party's early registration closes on July 26. After that, you'll need to register on site, at higher rates. As of yesterday, nearly 336 people have already preregistered to attend the star party! Please visit Oregon Star Party's website, and register before July 26.

The Oregon Star Party planning committee wants to emphasize that the star party is still scheduled to take place this year, at Indian Trail Spring. We continue to work closely with the National Forest Service as well as federal and local fire officials for the latest updates and conditions. Alternative sites are being considered and details are being discussed. Updates will be posted here, on the Oregon Star Party website, Oregon Star Party forum, and Cloudy Nights forum. The committee is doing everything possible to reinforce our dedication to the safety of everyone attending Oregon Star Party.

We hope you'll join us at the 27th annual Oregon Star Party!

#18 Mr. AH

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:59 PM

I know that may of you have questions and requests you want answered. The OSP directors and committee are continuing to work on details and will post updates tomorrow. Please check back then, and thanks for your support and patience!

#19 Mr. AH

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:22 AM

Current Fire Situation

“Additional resources and precipitation that came with the thunderstorms (up to 0.2") allowed for significant progress on the fires. Crews made good progress and are nearing containment on the Lava Fire. Antelope Springs and Broadway Fires remain in patrol status. There were no significant runs on the Fox Fire as crews and aircraft continued to make excellent progress toward controlling the perimeter.”
The Incident Team continues “to increase resources on the Fox Fire as they become available to construct containment line and mop up. Complete containment and mop up on the Lava Fire. Patrol Antelope Springs and Broadway Fires.”

“Fire movement over the next 12 hours will be minimal due to cooler and moist conditions. The fire will continue to try to move up the rugged North Fork Crooked River and side drainages, generally to the north and east. July 24th is a transition day from cool and moist to hot and dry.”

Expected Containment

“As July 24, 2014 the Fox fire is 29% contained with expected full containment by August 1, 2014.” Many of the other major forest fires in Central Oregon will be fully contained and in mop up by August 1, 2014

Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3972/

#20 Mr. AH

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:02 AM

The recent lightning-sparked wildfires in the Ochoco National Forest have added a new and interesting wrinkle to planning Oregon Star Party 2014. Not surprisingly, the OSP directors have regularly been in touch with their contacts in the Forest Service. Today, the Forest Service contacts are very positive that we will be able to hold the Oregon Star Party at Indian Trail Spring. Of course, if additional fires start up or the current fires jump the containment lines, then the existing closure may be extended.

Because of this improvement, the executive board and directors have decided not to seek an alternate site but rather focus our efforts on holding Oregon Star Party as planned, at Indian Trail Spring. Additionally, preregistration will close on Saturday, July 26, as originally scheduled.

For more information about the Ochoco Complex Fires, visit the Inciweb blog: http://inciweb.gov/incident/3972/

The executive board and directors have also taken this opportunity to update the star party’s refund policy:

* If a participant who has registered and paid requests a refund before July 26, 2014, a full refund will be granted.

* If participants who have registered and paid decide, between July 26 and August 8, that they are uncomfortable about attending Oregon Star Party 2014 due to the wildfire situation, a partial refund of registration fee and shower tickets will be granted. Payments made for apparel and meals will not be refunded. Partial refunds will be issued, and apparel mailed beginning two weeks after Oregon Star Party has concluded.

* After Oregon Star Party begins on August 18, no refunds will be issued.

* If Oregon Star Party 2014 is cancelled as a result of Forest Service order or decision by the Oregon Star Party committee, a full refund will be issued.

The directors, executive board, and general planning committee for Oregon Star Party are grateful for the encouragement and understanding from everyone who has followed our posts as we monitor the current Ochoco Complex wildfire situation. Thanks to everyone for the support.

We look forward to seeing you at Oregon Star Party 2014, at Indian Trail Spring!

#21 Mr. AH

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:54 AM

Ochoco Complex Update, July 25, 2014

Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3972/

Estimated Containment Date

Tuesday July 29th, 2014 approx. 12:00 AM

Significant Events

Crews and equipment continued to establish, hold, and mop-up on the Fox fire. Lava fire was contained. Antelope Springs and Broadway fires remain in patrol status

Planned Actions

Patrol and mop up the Lava fire. Begin rehabilitation of the fire lines on the Antelope Springs and Broadway fires. Continue to mop up along containment lines, going deeper into the fire where fuel types warrant.

Projected Incident Activity

Five movement over the next 12 hours will be minimal due to control efforts along the fire line. If the fire escapes control efforts it will tend to continue to move up the rugged North Fork Crooked River.

Remarks

This complex is made of up of the Fox, Oscar Canyon, Lava, Broadway and Antelope Springs Fire. Antelope Springs Fire is 100% contained at 14 acres. Broadway Fire is 100% contained at 5 acres. Lava Fire is 100% contained at 137 acres. Fox Fire is 64% contained at 9,848 acres. Changes in acreage are due to better mapping information.

Weather Concerns

After a cool and wet few days, temperatures jumped as much as 10 degrees on Friday at some sites and humidity dropped into the teens across the fire. The warming and drying trend will continue tomorrow as temperatures are in the high 80s and near 90 degrees on the southwest side of the fire with humidity dropping into the low teens. Winds will be the typical daily cycle with westerly winds 5-10 mph gusting near 20 mph at times. These will be the warmest and driest conditions on the fire so far.

Other Announcements

Source: http://www.ktvz.com/...-area/27140578/

Effective 8 a.m. Friday, the Ochoco National Forest will reduce the size of the area closure enacted five days ago.

The new closure area will reopen areas north and east of Big Summit Prairie, as well as Walton Lake campground and Allen Creek Horse Camp, to the general public. The new order also reopens a travel route to access these camping areas.

Forest officials realize the importance of summer recreation on the forest and want to provide everyone access in as safe a manner as possible.

The public is advised to travel only on open roads through the closure area because there are still multiple, active fire management operations on the forest. Please do not turn off on closed roads into the closure area.

Links

Closure Order: web page
Closure Map: http://inciweb.nwcg....ex/picts/201...
Fire Progress Map: http://inciweb.nwcg....ex/picts/201...

#22 Mr. AH

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 01:55 AM

Preregistration for Oregon Star Party 2014 has now closed. If you haven’t yet registered, not to worry, you will be able to register on site. At close of preregistration, nearly 420 people have registered to attend the star party!

Our committee has filled the Oregon Star Party website with plenty of information to help you plan your stay, and travel to and from the star party. Be sure to read and become familiar with information about camping, water, food, fire safety; what to bring and what to leave home.

Download and become familiar with maps of the OSP site, as well as driving directions. Be sure to carefully follow the driving directions from Prineville posted on the website, as following GPS directions can occasionally be misleading. Plan your trip so you arrive before dark, which will be at about 8pm. Those arriving after dark will need to camp near the entrance gate.

As we all know, fire danger in the surrounding forest will likely be moderate to high. Conditions at OSP could include smoky skies, high daytime temperatures and very dry weather. There is always the potential for stormy weather, too. The OSP directors will be closely monitoring any potential lightning storms and high winds throughout the week during OSP. We will also maintain close contact with the US Forest Service.

Please remember that the USFS requires each vehicle to carry these fire prevention supplies:

- Shovel
- Ax
- 5 gallons of water reserved for fire suppression

In addition, ABSOLUTELY NO open fires or charcoal briquettes is permitted while at Oregon Star Party. Smoking is only allowed in your vehicle or on the graveled roadway. Dispose of cigarette butts in a fireproof container or inside your vehicle's ashtray. If required by the USFS, the OSP Committee will implement more restrictive policies.

Updates will be posted on Facebook, the Oregon Star Party website, Oregon Star Party forum, and Cloudy Nights forum.

We hope you'll join us at the 27th annual Oregon Star Party!

#23 Bill Jensen

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

Thanks much for the frequent updates!

#24 Mr. AH

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 12:28 AM

Ochoco Complex Update

Percent of Perimeter Contained 94%
Estimated Containment Date Tuesday July 29th, 2014 approx. 12:00 AM

Significant Events

Crews and equipment continue to hold and mop-up on the Fox fire. Rehab was started on the west side of the Fox Fire. Palm IR was flown with a helicopter along the perimeter of the fire. Mop up continued on the interior of the Lava fire. Rehab was started on the Antelope Springs fire. Rehab was delayed on the Broadway fire due to some interior heat remaining.

Planned Actions

Continue to mop up along containment lines, going deeper into the fire where fuel types warrant on the Fox Fire. Ground based PALM IR will be used to search for hot spots on the east and south side of the Fox Fire that were identified in the Palm IR flight. Patrol and mop up the Lava fire. Continue rehab on the Antelope Springs and the west side of the Fox Fire.

Projected Incident Activity

No movement or threats anticipated in the next 12 hours

Remarks

This complex is made of up of the Fox, Oscar Canyon, Lava, Broadway and Antelope Springs Fire. Antelope Springs Fire is 100% contained at 14 acres. Broadway Fire is 100% contained at 5 acres. Lava Fire is 100% contained at 137 acres. Fox Fire is 94% contained at 9,848 acres.
The Prairie Type 3 Multi Fire Support Team, under the leadership of Monty Edwards, will assume management of the Ochoco Complex at 6 A.M., Wednesday, July 30. Additional information on the fire can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/

Weather Concerns

Relative humidity dropped into the single digits today with terrain driven winds and temperatures in the low 90s. A chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening, and some storms may be dry. Hot and dry conditions will continue through this week with isolated thunderstorms in the area.

Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3972/

NWS Forecast for: Ochoco-John Day Highlands

Issued by: National Weather Service Pendleton, OR
Last Update: 812 AM PDT TUE JUL 29 2014

Fire Weather Watch in effect from July 30, 01:00 PM PDT until August 2, 11:00 PM PDT

Today: Partly cloudy. Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 88 to 94. Northwest wind around 5 mph increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows 54 to 62. North wind 5 to 10 mph shifting to the west overnight.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 87 to 93. Northeast wind around 5 mph shifting to the north in the afternoon.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening...then partly cloudy overnight. Lows 56 to 61. North wind 5 to 10 mph shifting to the west overnight.

Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning...then mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 84 to 89. West wind around 5 mph shifting to the southeast in the afternoon.

Thursday Night Through Sunday Night: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 50 to 58. Highs 84 to 92.

Monday: Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 81 to 87.

Source: http://forecast.weat...06#.U9h7aJV0yzk

More

A new round of thunderstorms passed through Central Oregon this afternoon and into the evening. Eight hundred lightning strikes were reported with 36 smoke reports.
Thunderstorms were reported in the Sunriver area, west of Bend, west of Dayville, northwest of Kimberly and west of Condon. Two large fires have been reported, a 500 acre fire northwest of Kimberly and a 2000 acre fire 8 miles west of Condon.

Source: http://www.ktvz.com/...-fires/27216544

#25 Mr. AH

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:47 PM

Pacific Northwest Region – Ochoco NF
3160 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR 97754, www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon .
Contact: Patrick Lair at (541) 416-6647
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/OchocoNatForest

Ochoco National Forest rescinds forest closure

PRINEVILLE, Ore. — The Ochoco National Forest has rescinded the order that closed a large section of the forest surrounding Big Summit Prairie to the public.

The rescission is effective immediately.

All Forest Service roads, trails, campgrounds and other facilities on the forest within the closure area have reopened to public use.

Both Ochoco Divide campground and Wildwood campground were within the Bailey Butte fire, but both campgrounds were successfully defended and are now reopened.

The previous closure was put in place to provide for public and firefighter safety during active suppression efforts on multiple wildfires.

While firefighters continue to manage fires within the forest, all fires are contained and fire behavior has subsided to the point that an area closure is no longer necessary.

The Ochoco National Forest urges the public to use caution when travelling near recently burned areas because dead or weakened trees have the potential to fall down.

Motorists can also expect to see firefighters and fire vehicles travelling forest roads, so please drive with caution.

Campfire restrictions and an Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3 “partial shutdown” remain in effect on the Ochoco National Forest, along with the Crooked River National Grassland, the Deschutes National Forest and the Prineville BLM.

For additional questions, please contact Public Affairs Officer Patrick Lair at (541) 416-6647.






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