News, Tillamook State Forest, wildfire

Fire danger to rise to ‘high’ Wednesday

The heat wave may be ending, but wildfire danger in northwest Oregon is increasing, prompting the Oregon Department of Forestry to move much of the region they protect in northwest Oregon to “high” fire danger starting Wednesday morning.

At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association (NWOFPA) will see an increase in restrictions for how the general public and logging outfits use the forest.

In weather zones NW-2 and NW-3, the eastern portion of the area that starts in Washington County and the central portion, respectively, fire danger will be set at “high” (yellow) Wednesday morning.

The move means OHV trails in the Nicolai Mountain OHV Riding Area will close at 1 p.m. daily, and that campfires, barbeques are prohibited in the dispersed campsites in the Nicolai OHV Area (Shingle Mill, Viewpoint, Kerry, Plympton) and Lost Lake.

In the affected zones, campfires are only permitted in designated metal fire pits at these campgrounds: Henry Rierson Spruce Run Campground, Gnat Creek Campground, Northrup Creek Horse Camp and Beaver Eddy sites in Clatsop County.  ODF urged those visiting sites not listed to contact their local ODF office.

Burn barrels and residential campfires are not allowed during high fire danger.

“For industrial forest operations:  NW-1 will remain at Level I and NW-2 and NW-3 will move to Level II, with most operations shutting down at 1 p.m.,” ODF said.

During fire season, fireworks, exploding targets and tracer ammunition, and sky lanterns are prohibited.

Those looking for up-to-date information on fire season requirements should call 503-325-7215, while those seeking a burning permit should call 503-325-5451 during business hours. 

The public and industrial users of local forests can also stay informed of current fire restrictions by visiting the agency’s Fire Restrictions & Closures website.

Sign up for text alerts

Sign up for text alerts for real time fire season information in the Forest Grove, Tillamook, and Astoria ODF districts by texting “NWOA” to 877-274-4067.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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