LAKEVIEW, Ore. – The closure order for the Brattain Fire on the Paisley Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest was updated yesterday, reducing the overall size of the closure area.
While some recreation sites are now open and accessible, many popular recreation sites remain closed as a result of the Brattain Fire.
Marster Spring, Chewaucan Crossing and Jones Crossing Campgrounds, Withers Lake and the Fremont National Recreation Trail in the area remain closed.
The current closure follows the Forest Boundary from near the Slide Lake Trailhead on the northern end down to around a third of a mile south of Newell Creek. It then follows the section line to the Chewaucan River and then north to the 3300-122 Road which is closed.
The closure then connects to the eastern edge of Forest Road 33, leaving it open up to the intersection with Forest Road 3300-014 where it then follows the section line west for one mile and then north 4 miles to Forest Road 3300-016. The boundary follows the eastern edge of the 3300-016 Road to Forest Road 3315.
The closure then continues west along the northern edge of the 3315 Road, also known as the High Road, continuing on the northern edge of Forest Road 3315-332 to the eastern edge of the Slide Mountain Geologic Area where it turns north to connect to the Forest Boundary.
Additionally, Forest Roads 33 and 3315 are closed from their junction just outside of Paisley to the Forest Boundary, and Forest Road 3510-018 is closed from Clover Flat Road west to the Forest Boundary and from the 3510 Road north to the Forest Boundary.
“This closure is intended to allow suppression, repair and post-fire rehabilitation work to continue on the Brattain Fire, as well as to provide for public safety in the area,” said Forest Supervisor Barry Imler. “Throughout the fire area there are standing snags and fire-damaged trees on unstable soils that are a hazard, especially with winds and ongoing fire activity.”
While portions of Forest Roads 33, 3300-016, 3315 and 3315-332 remain open, the public is reminded that it is not safe to be in the burned areas.
“We understand with hunting season people want to get back to the areas they have traditionally used. Unfortunately, this season, the burned areas are dangerous and unstable and we need people to not drive, ride or hike in the blackened forest and rangelands,” Imler said.
The Forest is still under Public Use Restrictions and in the extreme fire danger category. There is no estimate of when they may be lifted.
Conditions are unusually dry and there are continued hot temperatures, low humidity and no precipitation. 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.
“On the Paisley Ranger District, the Brattain Fire is the third human-caused wildfire in the same general area in less than six weeks. Our firefighters, employees and neighbors need anyone going into the Forest this fall to use extreme vigilance to help prevent additional wildfires this season,” Imler said.
Anyone driving on open roads near the Brattain Fire area should watch for increased traffic and vehicles associated with wildland firefighting. Smoke will be visible within the fire perimeter until season-ending snows.
The new Brattain Fire Closure is formally referenced as Order Number 06-02-03-20-04.
Violations of this closure order, as well as 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.