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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Public Use Restrictions Increase on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest


Public Use Restrictions Increase on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

BAKER CITY — As of midnight tonight, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will enforce increased public use restrictions of campfires, chainsaws, smoking, internal combustion engines and generators.

The additional restrictions are to reduce the potential of human-caused fires and concern for public safety with hot, dry weather conditions and continued thunderstorms.

Beginning Friday August 8 the following are in effect - campfires, charcoal briquettes, and wood stoves will only be allowed in designated campgrounds and recreation sites.

Liquefied or bottled gas stoves and heaters are allowed for cooking and heating.

Chainsaw use is prohibited.  Personal use firewood cutting is not allowed at any time.  Internal combustion engine operation, except motor vehicles is prohibited.

Generators will only be 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 devoid 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.

Smoking is only allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings and developed recreation sites or when stopped in an area clear of flammable material.

No off-road or off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material is allowed. Motorized travel on segments of road where access is blocked by gate, barricade, log, boulder or earthen berm is also prohibited.

The Wallowa-Whitman is going to Industrial Fire Precaution Level III which is a partial shutdown, for industrial activities on the Forest. Cable yarding is prohibited except when using gravity operated logging systems with non-motorized carriages. These may be used from 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers.

Power saws may only be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.

The following are exempt from the Phase B of the Public Use Restrictions the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Hells Canyon Wilderness,  Monument Rock Wilderness and the North Fork John Day Wilderness,

however,there are year-round fire restrictions that are still in effect and can be found on the Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/PURS.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry in northeast and central Oregon.  Specific information on ODF’s restrictions is available on the web at:http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/.   

If unsure of which restrictions apply, contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office at 541-523-1246 or 541-523-1302.  Public-use restrictions are available online at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman and also on our Forest toll-free message lines in Baker City at 541-523-1234, La Grande at 541-962-8679 or Joseph at 541-426-5552.


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