Public Use Restrictions Increase on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Release Date: Aug 7, 2014  

Contact(s): Jodi Kramer, (541) 523-1246, Darcy Weseman, (541) 523-1302


 BAKER CITY, OREGON – Increased Public Use Restrictions (PURs) pertaining to the use of campfires, chainsaws, smoking, internal combustion engines, and generators by the public will go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, August 8, 2014 on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.  The additional restrictions are being implemented to reduce the potential for human-caused fires and concern for public safety, with the hot, dry weather conditions and continued thunderstorms. Beginning Friday August 8th, following are the restrictions for Phase B of the PURs on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest: 

  • Campfires, charcoal briquettes, and wood stoves will only be allowed in designated campgrounds and recreation sites, as listed in Exhibit A of the Forest Order.  Liquefied or bottled gas stoves, and heaters are allowed for cooking and heating.
  • Chainsaw use is prohibited.  All firewood cutting (personal and commercial use) is prohibited.  Internal combustion engine operation, except motor vehicles is prohibited.
  • Generators will only be allowed in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material, or; when fully contained within a pickup truck bed that is devoid of all flammable material, or; when factory installed in a recreational vehicle and the generator exhaust discharge is located in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Smoking is only allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings, and developed recreation sites or when stopped in an area cleared of all flammable material.
  • No off-road or off-trail vehicle travel or travel on roads not cleared of standing grass or other flammable material.  Motorized travel on segments of road where access is blocked by gate, barricade, log, boulder or earthen berm is also prohibited.  Vehicles must still abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to the area of travel.

The following areas are exempt from Phase B of the Public Use Restrictions (PURs):

  • Eagle Cap Wilderness
  • Hells Canyon Wilderness
  • Monument Rock Wilderness
  • North Fork John Day Wilderness

However, there are year-round fire restrictions that are still in effect in Hells Canyon NRA, Eagle Cap Wilderness, and on lands within ¼ mile of the Grande Ronde River on the Wallowa-Whitman NF.  See the Forest web site for details about these year-round fire restrictions:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/PURS

 

In addition, as of 12:01 am August 8th, the Wallowa-Whitman is going to Industrial Fire Precaution Level III (IFPL III), which is a partial shutdown, for industrial activities on the Forest such as contractors etc. The following is prohibited for industrial activities:

  • Cable yarding - except that gravity operated logging systems employing non-motorized carriages may operate between 8:00 pm and 1:00 pm when all blocks and moving lines are suspended 10 feet above the ground except the line between the carriage and the chokers.
  •  Power saws - except power saws may be used at loading sites and on tractor/skidder operations between the hours of 8:00 pm and 1:00 pm.

Regulated closures are in effect on State and private lands protected by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in northeast and central Oregon.  Specific information on ODF’s restrictions is available on the web at: http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/.   

 

If unsure of which restrictions apply, contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office at 541-523-1246 or 541-523-1302.  Public-use restrictions are available online at: www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitmanand also on our Forest toll-free message lines at:

  • Baker City:  541-523-1234
  • La Grande:  541-962-8679
  • Joseph: 541-426-5552

###