I have noticed over the last several years an increase in fire pits and fire scars on the Wallowa/Grande Ronde. A lot of these are built by d-bag steelhead fisherman hiking the railroad tracks in the winter and spring on the Wallowa section. However, there are also a lot of issues further down. It is apparent from the videos listed below (of what not to do) that boaters themselves are also exhibiting ignorant and lazy d-bag behavior. This river is well "loved?" and sees intense seasonal use. A lot of tent spots are no longer suitable due to fire damage. In march this year, in a favorite campsite, we found more than 5 distinct fire pits within a 50 foot diameter, all on the vegetated flats that do not get flooded right in good flat tent spots. We also found a dirty diaper in the middle of camp. Know and follow the fire rules below, as well as pack out every thing you bring in (poop and trash as well), which are also the rules. Hopefully someone will find this on a google search while looking for float information and become educated on the subject.
The rules regarding fires when floating the wild and scenic section of the Wallowa/Grande Ronde Rivers:
From the BLM website:
When not prohibited, fire shall be contained in a fireproof container with sides of a height sufficient to contain all ash and debris, and all ash and unburned debris removed from the river corridor. Avoid building rock fire rings. Fireworks are prohibited year-round.
From the USFS website:
Firepans: Check first to see if campfires are allowed! Open fires built or maintained on any BLM, State or Federal lands within the river corridor must be contained in a fire pan or fire blanket and all ash and debris must be removed from the river corridor and disposed of in a refuse container. Traditional rock-ring fire pits cause heavy impacts to a campsite by attracting and concentrating visitor traffic, compacting and sterilizing soils, and accumulating unburnable debris. Do not construct rock fire rings, and if you would like to help further, dismantle those rock rings that you find. Seasonal fire restrictions may also be in effect. It is common in mid to late summer for campfires to be prohibited due to wildfire danger. Please check regulations before you head out.
Some guidance on what to do:
another good cheap alternative are 2 metal oil pans, put one pan upside down and the other righted up on top of it to elevate. A couple doubled up turkey roasting foil pans work for kayakers, elevate on some rocks on the cobble/gravel bar.
Some examples of what not to do:
This guys is also apparently a river guide?:
For further information on all the rules see: