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Forestry Officials: Follow Restrictions Or Lose Access To Your Favorite Spaces

Matt Howard

Forest officials are urging outdoor recreationists to abide by all fire restrictions, or they may find lots of their favorite areas in Oregon off-limits.

Part of fighting wildfires is keeping people safe, so when a big one erupts – like the Bootleg Fire – area roadways and trails are closed off. 

Michelle Dennehy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said that’s why the Umatilla National Forest is closed to the public, so that the incident’s 2000 personnel can focus on containing the Bootleg Fire. 

“ODFW’s not a fire fighting agency, but of course a lot of hunters and anglers are headed off to the woods this time of year, so we just wanted to get out the word for everyone – not just hunters and anglers -  to please follow fire restrictions, it’s just super important.   

"Because if something does happen there’s just not many people left to fight, there’s just limited resources if another fire hits.” 

Credit Garridy Sanders / Unsplash

Campfires are prohibited on public lands east of I5, smoking is banned except in vehicles, and a lot of off-road driving is prohibited as well.

Oregonians driving off the beaten path are urged to exercise caution and preparedness, especially as the fire risk remains high across many parts of the state.

“If you are in the woods and you’re off like major highways and county roads, you should actually carry a fire extinguisher and a shovel, or a gallon of water in your car,” advised Dennehy. “So you are in a position if something happens to put out that fire.”

Dennehy also recommended checking sites for the U.S. Forest Service and Inciweb, to see if there are fires, closures, and restrictions that may make your trip all for naught.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ 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 (19 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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