For immediate release: August 25, 2021
Contact: James Hall, Fire Chief, 541-276-2126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tribal Government Modifying Public Use Restrictions on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Reopening Off-Reservation Properties with Limitations
MISSION, OR – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is reducing Public Use Restrictions on the Umatilla Indian Reservation for this fire season due to the cooler weather and slight but significant decrease in the threat of fire on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. In addition, the CTUIR is reopening Rainwater Wildlife Area and other off-reservation properties with some land use restrictions continuing to be in place.
Changes to the Public Use Restrictions for the Umatilla Indian Reservation starting August 25, 2021 will now allow:
- Open fire at the Indian Lake campgrounds in designated fire pits only
- Non-industrial cutting, grinding, and welding with fire extinguisher, hand tools and water (water extinguisher, water source with pump (well) between the hours of daylight and 2pm
- Non-industrial mowing with fire extinguisher, hand tools and water between the hours of daylight and 2pm
- Non-industrial wood cutting with fire extinguisher, hand tools and water between the hours of daylight and 2pm with 1 hour fire watch
All other restrictions previously implemented and not listed above are still in place for the 2021 Fire Season on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
With the onset of hunting season tribal hunters are inquiring about access to the Rainwater Wildlife Area behind the main gate. CTUIR is reopening Rainwater and other off-reservation properties, but some land use restrictions remain in place.
Prohibited activities for tribally-owned off-reservation properties include:
- All open fires, including campfires, cooking pits, and warming fires
- Use of fireworks
- Use of exploding target and tracer ammunition
- Use of motor vehicles on dry grass areas
- Non-industrial cutting, grinding, and welding in dry grass areas
- Non-industrial/agricultural mowing of dried, cured grass with brush hog type equipment
- Non-industrial chainsaw use in forested and dry grass lands
Ceremonial burns, including sweathouses, are allowed, but please contact Tribal Dispatch (541-278-0550) for a verbal permit based on weather conditions and fire resource availability.
Please use extreme caution when shooting full metal jacket ammunition because of the potential for sparks on solid surfaces.
Umatilla Tribal Police will continue to monitor for potential violations of these restrictions and violators will first be given warnings and provided information about the serious risk of wildfires during this fire season. Repeat violators could be cited to Tribal Court for potential fines. If an individual is responsible for causing a catastrophic fire, criminal sanctions could be pursued under Tribal or Federal law.