Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Safely enjoy the Umatilla National Forest for Independence Day


Fireworks prohibited on National Forest lands

PENDLETON, Ore. (June 28, 2022) — With the Independence Day holiday approaching, Umatilla National Forest officials remind visitors to safely enjoy public lands by leaving fireworks at home and taking other precautions to prevent wildfire.

“National Forests are a great place to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence and we hope many of you enjoy time in these special places, but please help us prevent human caused fires by leaving fireworks at home,” said Eric Watrud, Forest Supervisor.

Forest regulations prohibit possessing, discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, including sparklers and smoke bombs, on National Forest lands. Violators can be subject to a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail (36 CFR 261.52).  Anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for suppression costs.

In addition, while areas of the Umatilla National Forest look green, forest fuels are drying out quickly so please be careful with campfires, cigarettes, and chainsaws. Forest visitors should build their campfires in a fire pit surrounded by dirt, rock, or commercial rings, in areas cleared of all flammable material within a three-foot radius from the edge of the pit and free of overhanging material. A shovel and one gallon of water are recommended to be in your possession while building and tending campfires. These safety guidelines also apply to the use of charcoal briquettes.

Most campgrounds on the Umatilla National Forest are open and charge fees ranging from $8 to $24 per night. Other fees may be imposed for additional vehicles parked at a single campsite. The Umatilla National Forest is also now offering campsite reservations at Bull Prairie Lake, Jubilee Lake, North Fork John Day and Olive Lake campgrounds. Individual campsites can be reserved through https://www.recreation.gov. Reservations made through recreation.gov will include an $8 transaction fee in addition to the campsite fee. All other campgrounds on the Forest remain available as first-come, first-served.

To ensure a safe and successful weekend trip, recreationists are urged to:

  • Contact the local Ranger District office before you head out to make sure the area you’re traveling to is accessible or if restrictions are in place.
    • The Umatilla National Forest may have Public Use Restrictions in place on the Forest. Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest’s Public Use Restrictions is available on the Umatilla National Forest Information Hotline at 1-877-958-9663.
  • Be extremely careful with campfires and never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Obtain a Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for the area you’re visiting if you plan to ride ATVs, OHVs or motorcycles.
  • Be prepared. Pack additional food, water, clothing and other emergency supplies.
  • Let someone know your destination and estimated time of return. Cell phone service is often unavailable in the mountains.

The fire danger rating will move to MODERATE on Friday, July 1. The public’s awareness of the increasing fire danger and cooperation is essential to a safe fire season. Recreationists, firewood cutters, hunters, and other forest users can all help by closely adhering to restrictions, operating safely and cautiously, and keeping up to date on the latest orders and regulations.

Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.


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