ODF, Tillamook State Forest, wildfire

Oregon Department of Forestry extends public forest shutdown through Wednesday

A sign on Highway 6 noting “Extreme” fire danger on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Photo: Chas Hundley

The Oregon Department of Forestry plans to keep all forests under their purview closed to public entry and use through at least Wednesday, September 16. The earliest they could open is Thursday, September 17. 

“Fire danger remains extreme, air quality is bad to hazardous, and last week’s wind storms caused downed trees on roads and other safety problems that need to be cleared. We appreciate your understanding,” ODF spokesperson Jason Cox said in an email to the Post/Journal. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry plans to reopen industrial use in the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association region’s forests under IFPL 3 (Limited Shutdown) beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday, provided an expected favorable weather forecast holds overnight.

The Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association 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. A map of the area and current restrictions for industrial forest users is found here.

Those looking for current restrictions for the general public can view a map here

ODF forests in NW Oregon were initially closed on September 9, followed quickly by all ODF managed forests statewide. In an email sent Monday September 14, district foresters in and around the Tillamook State Forest noted that “the state has NO resources beyond skeleton initial attack,” and said that the rest of their staff are out on other fires throughout the state. 

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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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