LAKEVIEW, Ore. – There are currently three emergency fire closure orders in place on the Fremont-Winema National Forest associated with fire activity and incident management, as well as the Public Use Restrictions.
Both the Two Four Two Fire on the Chiloquin Ranger District and the Brattain Fire on the Paisley Ranger District have had updated closure orders in place since September 13.
For the Two Four Two Fire, Closure Order 06-02-12-20-01 includes all National Forest System lands north of State Highway 422 North, up to the junction with Forest Road 9734 and U.S. Highway 97, and from as far east as Williamson River Campground to as far west as the edge of Wood River Day Use Area.
For the Brattain Fire, Closure Order 06-02-03-20-03 is bounded by Forest Road 29, also known as Government Harvey Road, on the north end to Forest Roads 3510 and 33 on the south end, with all three roads closed in those areas. The closure extends from the Forest Boundary west to Forest Road 28, with the 28 Road remaining open. Forest Road 3315, also known as the High Road, outside Paisley is closed, as well as Forest Road 3510-018 off of Clover Flat Road.
Both closures are directly related to active and ongoing firefighting activity, including mop-up and repair work. Even where there is not active fire, there are still hazard trees and other dangers that require the areas to be closed for public safety.
“Even though there has been tremendous progress by the firefighters and incident management teams over the past two weeks, we still have many areas where the fires are burning and will continue to do so until season-ending rains and winter snow,” said Fremont-Winema National Forest Deputy Supervisor William Dunk.
“There will still be visible smoke as pockets of vegetation burn and the fire areas have numerous hazard trees in them,” Dunk said. “These areas are not safe right now and we are asking the public to respect the closure orders and allow firefighters to continue their suppression, mop-up and repair work safely.”
The Crane Fire area on the Lakeview Ranger District remains closed as pockets of fuel in the fire’s interior continue to burn in rugged, inaccessible terrain. That closure is Order Number 06-02-20-02-02 and went into effect on August 27.
Additionally, another closure went into effect on Friday in support of the Thielsen Fire currently burning on the Umpqua National Forest.
Closure Order 06-02-11-20-01 closes Forest Road 9772 between U.S. Highway 97 and Forest Road 9772-110, including Walt Haring SnoPark, as part of the organizational and public safety needs of the Incident Management Team assigned to the Thielsen Fire.
Miller Lake and Digit Point recreation sites are still open through a detour using Forest Road 9774 off Highway 97 north of Chemult, then left on Forest Road 9772-110 south to Forest Road 9774 and then turn west towards the recreation sites.
Firefighters have been working hard since the Two Four Two and Brattain Fires started on Labor Day. Local resources have responded to additional fires in the area over the past two weeks. Despite cooling temperatures and the start of fall, conditions in the forest continue to be unusually dry.
The Forest is still under Public Use Restrictions and in the extreme fire danger category. Those recreating in the forest are asked to comply with current fire restrictions, which includes limiting campfires to fire-rings in approved sites.
The public is urged to use caution with anything that can throw a spark and to strongly consider whether a campfire is necessary, including in the approved sites. If there is a campfire, please don’t leave it unattended and make sure it is drowned, dead-out and cold to the touch before leaving.
Anyone driving near the Two Four Two and Brattain Fire areas should watch for increased traffic and vehicles associated with wildland firefighting.
Violations of any of these closure orders – including the Public Use Restrictions – are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months or both.
All closure orders can be found on the Fremont-Winema National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema under “Alerts and Notices”.