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Have Fun, Prevent Wildfires, and Be Safe this Fourth of July

Head of Smokey Bear

Sandy, OR - For many, the Fourth of July means celebrating our country’s independence with barbecues, camping, and of course fireworks. The Mt. Hood National Forest encourages the public to enjoy the holiday weekend, but to do so safely – and to be especially mindful of wildfire prevention on your public lands.

Visitors to national forests should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires. To reduce wildfire risk, please consider the following:

  • Fireworks are never allowed on federal public lands. This includes smaller consumer fireworks such as sparklers, bottle rockets, and smoke balls.
  • Before camping, learn of any fire restrictions in place and never leave a campfire unattended. Build campfires in open areas, preferably in existing fire rings. Make sure campfires are fully out and cool to the touch before leaving the area. (Please use the water and shovel technique.)
  • When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.
  • Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires. Even chains dragging along the ground, such as those on ATVs, can spark fires.

There are many events taking place this holiday weekend during which the public can enjoy some amazing fireworks in nearby communities. The Forest encourages visitors to check out local fireworks displays, including:

  • Estacada Timber Festival:  July 4, Estacada
  • Fort Dalles Fourth Fireworks: June 30, The Dalles
  • Hood River Independence Day Festivities: July 4, Hood River
  • Portland Blues Festival and Fireworks Displays: July 4, Portland (waterfront)

Numerous road repair and improvement projects have begun or will begin in July. As you plan your Fourth  of July visit to the Mt. Hood NF please be aware that there may be short delays, flagging, or closures that could impact your planned route. Check our Roads Table for current and upcoming road work or call the Ranger District before beginning your journey. Road conditions vary greatly across the Forest and some roads may be used for log hauling. Please use caution on rough roads and roads where large equipment may be present.

Here is a short list of projects and current conditions that may impact popular routes:

  • FS Road 3530 (Barlow Rd.), is closed at the Barlow Crossing gate due to the unsafe bridge. Barlow Creek and Barlow Crossing Campgrounds are closed.
  • The gate to FS Road 45 remains closed at Memaloose Bridge (Jct. at FS Roads 45 & Highway 224).  The 45 road is also closed approximately 9 miles from the gate on the Hillockburn side. The closure on the Hillockburn side is expected to remain in effect until late September for culvert replacement.
  • Travelers should exercise caution on FS Road 46, between Ripplebrook and the FS Road 42 junction due to its current condition. Motorists should watch for potholes, sunken grades, and limited sight distance. There is a traffic signal in operation just south of Ripplebrook limiting traffic to a single lane for a slide repair (very limited delay). FS Road 46 paving and repair is scheduled for this summer, and is expected to start mid-July.
  • FS Road 4690 and FS Road 4690/4220 to the Olallie Lake area is rough in spots and RV’s should use extra caution.
  • Culvert work on FS Road 18 (Lolo Pass Road) is scheduled to start within the next two weeks. Motorists may encounter short delays during construction.
  • Motorists may also encounter short delays on the following Forest Service roads during road paving and surface improvement work this summer:  4800, 4820, 4400, 4300, 1700 1300, and 3531.
  • Log hauling operations are currently taking place on Forest Service Roads 1340, 1600, 2810, and 4430. Please use caution on these routes and watch for signs and truck traffic.

National forests and grasslands are resources that everyone uses. Drive safely and this Fourth of July holiday, let the night skies be your show while visiting the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Have a happy Independence Day!





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Head of Smokey Bear