Pendleton, OR: Public-use restrictions on the Umatilla National Forest prohibiting the use of chainsaws, generators and other internal combustion engines will be lifted beginning Friday, October 12, 2012. Campfire and smoking restrictions remain in effect.
“This weekend’s forecasted change in the weather is allowing us to ease public-use restrictions and permit chainsaw use,” said Brian Goff, fire staff officer. “We’ll need a significant amount of rain before we can lift campfire restrictions,” adds Goff.
Woodcutting has been prohibited on the Umatilla National Forest since mid-August. Because of the prolonged closure period, forest officials have extended the forest’s woodcutting season from November 15 to November 30, giving woodcutters an additional two weeks to gather firewood.
Firewood cutters are urged to be engaged, cautious and careful when using a chainsaw. Woodcutters are required to have on hand an ax, fire extinguisher and shovel. Chainsaws must be equipped with an approved spark arrester.
Under current public-use restrictions, the following apply:
- Building and tending of open campfires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited until further notice, except in fire pits at designated recreation sites (designated recreation sites are listed at the bottom of this release.) Permissible sources for cooking or heat include pressurized gas BBQs, stoves and space-heating devices.
- Smoking is only allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites or when stopped in an area cleared of all flammable material.
Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon. Specific information on ODF’s restrictions is available on the web at: http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/. Similar restrictions are in effect on State and private lands protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR). More information can be found on the WA-DNR website at: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx
If unsure of which restrictions apply, contact the Umatilla National Forest Office at (541) 278-3716. Public-use restrictions will be updated on the toll-free message line at 1-877-958-9663 and are also available online at: www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla/.