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Hunters should expect area closures and campfire bans this season on the Willamette National Forest

Archery season has opened on the Willamette National Forest. This season, hunters may be traveling in areas with high fire dangers or fire closures from recent or ongoing wildfires. Hunters are asked to use extreme caution and follow all fire restrictions while in the field. On the Willamette National Forest, there is a campfire ban in effect. Additionally, for public safety, area closures remain in place in several locations on the forest.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning to hunt on public lands:

  • Know before you go if there fire restrictions in effect.
  • Do not idle, drive or park on dry grass as vehicle exhaust and undercarriage could potentially ignite the grass or brush.
  • Do not flick a cigarette out a vehicle window because it can start a wildfire. Extinguish smoking materials in the vehicle ashtray.
  • Check any chain you may be using on a trailer. Dragging metal on the roadbed can start a shower of sparks into dry vegetation causing a wildfire.

People intending to hike into, or near recently burned areas should remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. Hazard trees or snags tend to pose the imminent threat. Dead or dying trees that remain standing after a wildfire are unstable, especially in high winds. Know the forecasted weather before entering the area, assess the weather conditions while in the area, and stay clear of burned trees. Do not camp or hang out in the wildfire area. And, as always, let someone know your planned route, destination and expected return time.

Open flame fires are currently banned on the Willamette National Forest due to dry vegetation and a high number of human-caused fires this summer. Under current fire restrictions, smoking is not allowed, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site. Generators are permitted only in areas devoid of vegetation, such as a paved area or developed campsite. Camp stoves that run on propane of liquid fuels and have an on/off switch are acceptable. Additionally, portable fire pits that use pressurized liquid or gas and have an on/off switch are allowed as long they are used appropriately (i.e. no burning sticks, pellets, logs, or other flammable materials over the fire pit). Report wildfires or suspicious activity by calling 911.

Hunters are responsible for knowing what areas are open and closed to hunting and what restrictions are in place. Please check the status of the area you plan to hunt before you head to the woods. All hunting is managed and regulated by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Please hunt safely and be sure of your target. Remember, you are sharing the woods with other people working and recreating in close proximity.

More information is available on the following websites: