Members of the public planning their next outdoor adventure on National Forests in the Pacific Northwest now have a tool they can use to check fire information for more than one forest, quickly and easily. The new resource can be found on the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region website, at https://go.usa.gov/xFTHh.
Website visitors will find current fire information and usage restrictions for all National Forests in Washington and Oregon on one page, in an easy-to-use, at-a-glance format.
The page can also be found linked to the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region website’s homepage, or by clicking “Fire & Aviation,” “Fire Information,” “Current Fire Status,” and “Fire Restrictions Across the Region” at the top of the page.
The chart displays fire risk levels (low, moderate, high, very high and extreme), common public use restrictions (PURs) – such as whether campfires are allowed in or outside of designated fire rings, if there are limits on ATV and chainsaw use, and industrial fire precaution levels (IFPLs) for each forest.
It also includes a link to current forest orders which links with each forest’s “Alert’s and Notices” page where current fire and other related closure information are posted. These forest orders may include large area or forest closures and other restrictions necessary to protect resources and ensure public safety.
The Pacific Northwest is facing a very challenging fire season. Fuels on the landscape are very dry; vegetation, including leaves and grasses as well as larger shrubs and trees, have been further stressed by extreme heat and drought. Members of the public are encouraged to plan carefully and “know before you go.”
·Determine what hazards may be present in an area (including fire risk), and what closure orders and other precautions may be in effect before you visit.
·Carry the “ten outdoor essentials” every time you travel on a forest, even while driving through or for day hikes and short trips. During fire season, include water and a shovel, fire extinguisher, or other tools to put out fires.
Have a safety plan; make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to return, and ask them to contact local law enforcement if you don’t return when expected or they have a reason to believe you’re in danger. Leaving a copy of your trip plan in your tent or on your vehicle may also help others find you if an evacuation is ordered. Familiarize yourself with maps of the area and have a plan for what you’ll do if a wildfire emerges without warning.
Source: U.S. Forest Service