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Mushroom Hunters Warned To Be Careful If In Fire-Ravaged Areas

Alan Rockefeller
Wikipedia /https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Mushroom hunting is a year-round activity for many Oregonians, with Black Morrels and Spring King Boletes  currently in season.

But forest officials warn against venturing into areas hit by last year’s wildfires.  Darren Cross is the McKenzie River District Ranger for the Willamette National Forest.  He warned fungi foragers to note where closures are, and to abide by them. 

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Darren Cross, McKenzie Ranger District, Willamette National Forest.

“There’s also stump holes and other things that happen out in a fire area, that someone that’s not used to being in an area like that, might not be aware of, and it’s actually fairly dangerous," Cross told KLCC. 

"So it’s easy to get stuck, or get focused on looking for mushrooms on the ground and not be looking at the dangerous tree or limb that’s right above you.”

Wild mushroom enthusiasts should bring a friend or two, and even wear protective gear if they think they’re in an area where tree cover is compromised. And of course, not to eat any mushroom they’re not 100 percent sure is edible.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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