PENDLETON, Ore. (August 14, 2023) — The North Fork John Day Ranger District has temporarily closed Olive Lake Campground effective today, August 14. The closure is in place due to ongoing firefighting activities on the Ben Harrison Fire, which is located approximately two miles south of the popular campground. Fire managers also intend to use Olive Lake Campground as the Incident Command Post for directing suppression operations.
“Firefighter and public safety are always our top priority. This closure is a necessary step to minimize public exposure while this fire is actively burning,” said District Ranger Bart Ausland. “We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding.”
The objective of the closure is to proactively protect public and firefighter safety as the Forest continues to actively suppress the Ben Harrison Fire. Forest Service personnel will post signs today and vacate occupied campsites within the campground. Any reservations made through recreation.gov will be canceled and should be fully reimbursed. This is a temporary closure and the Forest will reopen the campground once conditions moderate and suppression resources are moved out of the campground.
The Ben Harrison Fire, which is currently estimated at 95 acres, was reported on Friday, Aug. 11 and is burning in heavy timber within the North Fork John Day Wilderness. Fire behavior was minimal yesterday, primarily consisting of creeping and smoldering with larger fuels burning on the interior. The reduced fire behavior allowed firefighters to continue to establish control lines line along the flanks of the fire. Today firefighters will continue to build and strengthen control lines around the perimeter of the fire.
The public is reminded to stay vigilant in areas near the Ben Harrison Fire due to increased fire traffic and potential aerial operations.
For more information about the Olive Lake Campground closure please contact the North Fork John Day Ranger District at (541) 427-3231.
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.