Thursday, July 28, 2016

Regulated Use Fire Restrictions Are In Effect

What do "Fire Restrictions" mean for your next visit to the Tillamook State Forest?

At 1:00 AM on Friday, July 29, 2016 the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association (NWOFPA), which includes the Tillamook State Forest, enters into the Regulated Use portion of fire season.

When you pass an orange or yellow sign like the ones pictured at the right it means that Regulated Use is in effect. 

For folks headed out to rural areas or to the Tillamook State Forest, there are several things to keep in mind as you prepare for your trip and while you are out in the woods during regulated use. 

Planning ahead and practicing fire safety will not only help keep Oregon's forests green, it may just save you a citation.

What do I have to bring with me?

While you are traveling through the forests and rural areas, unless you are on a state highway, county road or driveway, each vehicle must have one shovel and either one gallon of water or one operational 2½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

Where can I have a campfire in the Tillamook State Forest?
You can have a campfire in the metal fire pits installed by the Oregon Department of Forestry in:
  • Fee Campgrounds & Developed Day Use Areas
  • Designated Recreation Areas
  • Designated Dispersed Campsites
Where can I smoke?
You can smoke in the closed cabin of your vehicle on improved roads or while in Designated Recreation Areas, Fee Campgrounds or Designated Dispersed Campsites.
How do I know if the trails are open?
Trail closures are tied to Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) and will be posted on this blog. 
Designated OHV Trails in the Browns Camp, Jordan Creek, Diamond Mill, Trask and BLM Upper Nestucca Riding Areas:
  • IFPL 1 - IFPL 2 =  Trails are OPEN
  • IFPL 3 = Trails are CLOSED and riding is restricted to maintained gravel roads in those designated OHV areas
  • IFPL 4 = All riding CLOSED
Designated Non-Motorized Trails for Equestrians, Hikers and Mountain Bikers.
  • IFPL 1 - IFPL 2 = Trails are OPEN
  • IFPL 3 = Trails are OPEN but additional restrictions may be in place.
  • IFPL 4 = All trails are CLOSED
These are just a few key items to know when planning a trip during Regulated Use.  For more information or answers to specific questions, please call the Oregon Department of Forestry office nearest you.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fire Season Declared for Northwest Oregon

Effective Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 1:00 AM, the Northwest Oregon Fire Protective Association (NWOFPA) is in Fire Season.  This area includes the Tillamook State Forest and the Clatsop State Forest.

Don't let the cooler than average temperatures over the past few weeks fool you, fire season is here and it won't be long until the forests and fields are tinder dry. The Oregon Department of Forestry is ready to respond to any wildland fire situation that might occur but hopes that encouraging folks to practice increased fire safety will prevent the need for fire crews to be dispatched to face the flames of a wildfire.

While this doesn't mean that the Regulated Use Fire Restrictions are in effect, it does mean that sky lanterns, tracer rounds and exploding targets are prohibited on ODF protected lands. It also means most counties are either in a burn ban or will be entering a burn ban soon.  You should call your local fire department before lighting any burn piles, even if it's just yard debris. 

It's also a good time to plan ahead so you have your fire prevention tools and strategies in place for when Regulated Use does go into effect.  Prepare your vehicle for visiting State Forests or traveling in rural areas by packing a gallon of water or a 2.5 pound fire extinguisher and a shovel with an 8 inch blade that is at least 26 inches long from the tip of the handle to the tip of the shovel blade.

Thanks for your help in keeping Oregon's State Forests green!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints

You wouldn't want that mess in your yard, would you?

Have you ever shown up to your favorite spot in the forest to find piles of garbage, old campfire pits and tiny bits of toilet paper snagged in the brush?  If it can ruin your visit, just think what it does to the environment you've come out to enjoy.

Even a little bit of garbage can hurt the ecosystem, injure or kill wildlife and increase the chances of natural areas being closed to public use.  One person can make a difference in everyone's forest experience. You can help by working with  the Oregon Department of Forestry to keep forests and streams clean by being good stewards of the land practicing Leave No Trace land use principles during your visit.

  • Pack it in. Pack it out. Please deposit trash in the nearest garbage can or dumpster. If the trash garbage can or dumpster is full or one is not available, please take your trash home. Trash left behind in a site, even if bagged, is attractive to animals who will tear open the bags and spread the garbage around the area.

  • Please use restrooms where provided. If no restroom is available bury your waste with soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Do not deposit human waste within 100 feet of any campsite, trail or body of water.
  • Do not camp within 25 horizontal feet of the high water mark of any river, stream, creek, lake or pond. Enjoy the rivers and streams but remember that in low water seasons, you are playing on the rocks and riverbeds that the fish depend on for habitat. Let's keep the streams clean.

Thank-you for helping to make sure that Oregon's public forests are safe and beautiful places for everyone to enjoy!