Fire, Oregon Department of Forestry, TILLAMOOK FOREST

Fire season over for all Oregon Department of Forestry-protected lands

The Game Hog Creek Fire, July 22 2021. Photo: Chas Hundley

Fire season ended in the last of the 16 million acres of Oregon forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry as of Friday morning, ODF said. 

Three districts—Klamath-Lake, Northeast Oregon and the Walker Range Forest Patrol Association—were the final holdouts, ending their fire season on Friday morning. 

Fire season ended in this part of Oregon October 1, bringing to a close a season that saw the region dodge some of the larger fires the rest of the state saw. 

The local area, known as the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association (NWOFPA) region, stretches north to the Columbia River, west to the Pacific Ocean, south to Sheridan, and east to parts of Gales Creek, the Killin Wetlands outside of Banks and to Scappoose. 

While larger fires were avoided, local and statewide crews still battled numerous smaller fires, including the 182-acre Game Hog creek Fire and the 74-acre Cedar Butte Fire, both located in the Tillamook State Forest. 

The region also saw numerous and deadly heat waves, and firefighters had to contend with COVID-19 safety measures while fighting fires.

“The Oregon Department of Forestry appreciates everyone’s efforts to work with in the fire restrictions to prevent wildfires this season,” a post from the Oregon Department of Forestry said on their Tillamook Forest Blog. Fire season began June 22.

“It was another long, difficult year locally and statewide. We appreciate everyone’s efforts on prevention and suppression,” said ODF Forest Grove District Forester Mike Cafferata in an email to local logging and forestry operations. 

 With fire season ended earlier this month locally, woodcutting permits are allowed to be issued for the Tillamook State Forest, and ODF began issuing such permits Oct. 6. Those looking for more information can call the Forest Grove offices Monday to Friday during regular business hours at 503-357-2191.

The following information was provided by ODF in a webpage with woodcutting information:

Fee: $20 for up to 2 cords of wood

Permits are sold between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM.

Only one permit at a time will be issued per person or household

The license plate number of the vehicle transporting firewood is required

You can only purchase a permit for yourself

Checks are not accepted for permit purchase

A limit of 3 permits in the woodcutting season (usually October through June), will be issued per person or household

Permits are valid until two cords are gathered, but no longer than three weeks from the day of purchase

Woodcutting Guidelines and Restrictions

Woodcutters are advised to be familiar with the basin areas, there is no guarantee wood will be available at any location.

Woodcutting is allowed only within areas designated on permit map

Live trees, downed old growth and cedar logs CANNOT be cut into firewood

Woodcutters are required to follow environmental guidelines established on the permit

Permits are issued for personal use only, not for resale

Permits will not be extended due to acts of nature

Violators will not be allowed to obtain a personal woodcutting permit for a period of one year from the date of violation.

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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