Blue Mountain Eagle

JOHN DAY – Hunters can expect closures in some areas due to recent forest fires, officials warned this week.

The Malheur National Forest reported that the area closure for the Bald Sisters Fire, burning east of Prairie City, continues in effect – mainly east of County Road 62 and north of Forest Road 13.

The closed area could be reduced or expanded as the fire activity changes.

Currently there are two hunt seasons, bear hunting and youth elk hunting, affected by the closure.

Archery season for elk opens Aug. 30.

“I am aware of the inconveniences and disappointment this area closure causes to hunters,” said Teresa Raaf, Malheur Forest supervisor. “I know you have planned and looked forward to this hunting season.”

Hunters can check on the closure map online at the Inciweb site or the Bald Sisters Fire Facebook page.

Meanwhile, officials also are looking at hunting impacts from the larger South Fork Complex fire, burning south of Dayville, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to announce updated restriction information next week, before the opening of archery season.

Fire and emergency agencies are continuing area closures around the South Fork fire. ODFW two weeks ago closed the Philip Schneider Wildlife Area to protect public safety and limit interference with firefighting activities.

“We’ll reopen the wildlife area when fire and safety conditions allow it,” said Dan Marvin, wildlife area manager.

A temporary closure map is updated regularly on the Inciweb site.

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