The Fremont-Winema National Forest Stresses Fire Safety this Memorial Weekend

Lakeview, Oregon – It’s time to gather up the family, camping gear and head to your favorite camping spot. Memorial Day weekend is the kick off for the summer to come, and traditionally it is a very busy weekend at campgrounds and picnic areas on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. 

Most Forest recreation sites on the Fremont-Winema National Forest are accessible, except for the ones above 6,000 feet. These areas still have snow or muddy conditions and may not be totally accessible for another month, depending on weather conditions. Visitors should also be aware that even if a recreation site is accessible, all amenities may not be available yet. 

If you are planning to use livestock on National Forest lands, remember that you are permitted to use only certified weed free straw, hay or pellets. The Forest is also asking equestrians to stay off higher elevation trails until conditions become dryer.

Despite snowy and muddy conditions at higher elevations, it is extremely dry at lower elevations. Forest officials are asking the public to be extremely cautious with activities that could start a wildfire.  

“Memorial Day weekend is a time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family,” said Joe Reinarz, Interagency Fire Staff Officer for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District and Fremont-Winema National Forest. “However, it is important for forest users to celebrate responsibly and to be careful with fire.”

Despite recent rains, overall fire danger remains elevated due to extended drought. Even the smallest spark has the potential to become a wildfire. The Fremont-Winema National Forest is encouraging visitors to follow several fire safety tips for safe celebrating this holiday:

  • Do not leave campfires unattended.
  • Clear vegetation and dry debris down to bare soil within 10 feet around your campfire.
  • Be sure to completely put out campfires, leaving the site cold to the touch.
  • Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling.
  • Ensure cigarettes, cigars and tobacco pipes are fully extinguished when not in use.
  • Use caution when operating vehicles in close proximity to vegetation.
  • Spark arresting devices must be properly installed and maintained on all internal combustion engines.

Forest users also are reminded to avoid driving on snowy, wet or muddy roads. If an area is saturated, on or off-road vehicles will cause significant damage such as rutting, erosion, potholes and mud bogs. Visitors are also urged to be on the lookout for washouts, ruts, fallen rocks and trees, and flooding.

Persons may be held criminally and/or civilly liable for any resource damage they cause. The public is asked to report any resource damage they may find by contacting their local Ranger District office.

An updated version of the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is now available to the public. This is the first revision to the original MVUM published on Feb 14, 2012.Only those Forest Service roads and motorized trails shown on the MVUM are available for motor vehicle use.

The 2014 MVUM is FREE to the public and is available at all Fremont-Winema National Forest offices and on the Web site at:

In addition, the MVUM is also available for download directly to mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android (4.0.3 or newer) by downloading the Avenza PDF Maps Mobile App. The Forest has created files that can be viewed in Google Earth and compatible with newer Garmin Global Positioning System (GPS) units.

For additional information on the MVUM or the status of Forest campgrounds, trails and roads during this Memorial Day weekend, please contact any of the Fremont-Winema National Forest’s offices.