Due to unprecedented fire activity and unsafe conditions, the USDA Forest Service has issued closure orders across Oregon and southern Washington. Full closure orders are in effect on the Mt. Hood, Siuslaw, and Willamette National Forests. Large area closure orders are in place on the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Gifford Pinchot, Rogue River-Siskiyou, and Umpqua National Forests, as well as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
As of Friday morning, according to the Northwest Coordination Center, there are approximately 1.5 million acres affected by fire across Oregon and Washington. About 7,000 firefighters and fire support personnel are assigned to wildfire operations in the region.
These temporary closures are in place to support evacuation efforts, fire suppression, and access for fire crews. Orders restrict access to all but emergency personnel and persons with a permit authorizing their presence in the closure areas. Drivers are urged to use caution as many forest roads may be busy with firefighters, fire vehicles, and heavy equipment engaged in suppression and containment efforts.
“Firefighters and emergency responders are doing everything they can to protect communities and safely engage wildfires,” said Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester. “We are facing unprecedented wildfire activity and our top priority is public safety. Please help us give our firefighters and emergency responders the space they need to do their job.”
Forests not under closure orders have implemented strict fire restrictions, including campfire bans, due to high and extreme fire danger levels. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, please use extreme caution with fire. One small spark can cause a large wildfire and add additional strain to firefighters and available resources.
Source: U.S. Forest Service