PENDLETON - Firewood cutting is being allowed for the time being on the Umatilla National Forest Joanie Bosworth, public affairs officer for the Umatilla National Forest announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, but other public-use restrictions in the forest remain in effect.
"Firewood and post and pole cutting are now allowed on both the north and south halves of the Umatilla National Forest," said John Robertson, Fire Management Staff Officer. "However, if hot and dry weather conditions persist, we may need to restrict firewood cutting in the near future."
In addition, restrictions on the use of chainsaws, generators and internal combustion engines have been lifted.
Woodcutters should call the toll-free message number each day, 1-877-958-9663, to see if current firewood cutting and public-use restrictions have changed.
The message will be updated by 5 p.m. daily if there are any changes in restrictions.
"Other public-use restrictions involving the use of campfires, smoking and travel will remain in effect for the Labor Day weekend," said Robertson.
Forest-wide restrictions prohibit the building and tending of open campfires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires and warming fires until further notice, except in fire pits at designated recreation sites.
Permissible sources of heat include pressurized gas stoves and space-heating devices.
Smoking is allowed only within enclosed vehicles, buildings, and developed recreation sites or when in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
Travel restrictions prohibit vehicle travel off of developed forest roads and trails except when traveling to and from campsites located within 300 feet of a developed forest road. Visitors are advised to use extreme caution while traveling throughout the forest. All vehicles must abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to the area of travel. Restrictions on logging and other industrial operations have also been placed in effect.
If visitors are unsure of which restrictions may apply, they should contact the Umatilla National Forest Supervisor's Office at 278-3716, the Pendleton office of the Oregon Department of Forestry Office 276-3491, the Ellensburg office of the Washington Department of Natural Resources at 509 925-8510, or visit the forest service's Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r6/uma/fireupdate.htm.