Pomeroy Ranger District and portions of Walla Walla Ranger District remain closed
PENDLETON, Ore. (August 2, 2021) — With recent precipitation and reduced initial attack on new fires across the Forest, Umatilla National Forest officials will reopen much of the Forest on Wednesday, Aug. 4, including all Heppner and North Fork John Day Ranger District lands and part of the Walla Walla Ranger District. The Pomeroy Ranger District and northern portions of the Walla Walla Ranger District will remain closed.
Due to active large wildfires, the modified closure includes the entirety of the Pomeroy Ranger District lands and the portion of Walla Walla Ranger District lands north of Forest Service Road 64 up to Jubilee Lake, north of Jubilee Lake and east of Forest Service Road 63. While these roads are the boundary of the closure area, the roads themselves will re-open to Jubilee Lake campground, which will also be open to the public. Access is prohibited in areas identified in the closure, which includes National Forest lands, roads, trails and recreational facilities.
Visitors planning a trip to areas within the closure should cancel any plans for the next several weeks. These areas remain closed to protect public and firefighter safety as the Forest continues to actively suppress wildfires, while also responding to new smoke reports.
A detailed map and description of the updated closure area is available at the end of this news release, on the Forest website and at any Forest office. Closure barriers and signs will be posted on the ground.
Despite the recent precipitation, fire danger on the Umatilla National Forest is still EXTREME. For areas that will re-open to the public, Phase C Public Use Restrictions will be in effect. Under these restrictions:
· Campfires are prohibited on the Forest. Use liquid and bottle (propane) gas stoves only.
· No internal combustion engine operation (including chainsaws), except for motorized vehicles.
o Electrical generators operated under the following conditions are allowed:
§ in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material, or;
§ when fully contained within a pickup truck bed that is empty of all flammable material, or;
§ when factory installed in a recreational vehicle and the generator exhaust discharge is located in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
· No off-road/off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material. Vehicle travel is never permitted on currently closed forest service roads where access has been impeded or blocked by earthen berms, logs, boulders, barriers, barricades or gates, or as otherwise identified in a closure order.
· Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles and buildings, developed recreation sites, or in cleared areas.
Violating closures and fire restrictions is a violation that carries a mandatory appearance in federal court, punishable as a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or up to six months in prison, or both.
Additional information on the Lick Creek, Green Ridge, and Elbow Creek Fires is available at:
· Lick Creek Fires: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7615/
· Green Ridge Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7628/
· Elbow Creek Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7672/
For more information regarding Restrictions, please contact the Information Hotline at (877) 958-9663.
The latest fire information will be posted on the Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog. To receive updates on fires in the Blue Mountains, follow our blog at http://bluemountainfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.