Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wildland Fire Minute


While the past six months in the Pacific Northwest have been cooler and wetter than normal, June, July, and August are predicted to be warmer than average. We will likely have a slower start to the fire season due to slow melt off of snow at the higher elevations.

Most years, lightning causes the majority of fires in the Pacific Northwest, this year we will have the added human factor of up to a million people visiting Oregon during the peak of fire season to witness the total solar eclipse. We are ramping up our fire prevention efforts with that in mind.

This year, we have a new partner in fire prevention. While we’ve worked with Rangeland Fire Protection Associations in fire suppression efforts for years, we are now embarking on a joint fire prevention campaign. YOU can help as well, by:

• ensuring campfires are cold to the touch before leaving them;
• avoiding parking or driving in dry grass; and
• remembering that fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited on Federal lands.

To learn more about the latest wildland fire conditions in the Pacific Northwest head on over to: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/

Video by Michael Campbell, BLM -- Graphics by Matt Christenson, BLM – Featuring Traci Weaver, BLM/U.S. Forest Service

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) camping information

ODF offers three types of camping opportunities: developed campgrounds, designated dispersed sites, and dispersed camping. All available campground sites have been booked
Dispersed camping
Dispersed camping is allowed in Oregon State Forests with no fee or permit requirements. Campers are required to adhere to ODF regulations regarding placement of campsites, campfires, sanitation, and stay limits. Campfires are not permitted during the regulated use portion of fire season. There is no map of dispersed camp spots.
Basic ODF Camping information
​As general rules: 
  • Don't camp within 25 feet of a river or stream.
  • Don't clear your own campsite or disrupt the natural environment.
  • Take all garbage with you when there are no garbage receptacles.
  • Don't deposit human waste within 100 feet of any campsite, trail or water body.
  • No fireworks.
  • Animals must be on 6 foot leash at all times and animal waste must be disposed of properly.
  • Limit of 8 people and 2 vehicles per campsite​(except in designated group campsites).
​See OAR 629, Division 25​ for a complete list of rules and regulations affecting camping on Oregon State Forests.​​​
Please visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Pages/index.aspx for further information.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

From Travel Oregon


Oregon Solar Eclipse Guide

View Guide Online

This limited edition guide provides all the essential details about the 2017 total solar eclipse and the Oregon cities in the path of totality.
 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One concern along eclipse path: Wildfires - KOIN6

 
One concern along eclipse path: Wildfires- KOIN6

One concern along eclipse path: Wildfires - KOIN6

“With that many people potentially gathering on our public lands it could leave a significant mark,” said Traci Weaver with the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forestry Service. “We are asking people to follow the ‘leave no trace standards,’ to pack it in and pack it out.”

Weaver suggested eclipse watchers be very careful using any fire-starting device and to make sure campfires are completely extinguished. And she suggested you know what resources are there once you get to your spot.

“There isn’t a gas station for miles and miles, there isn’t water for miles and miles, so know what is around and be prepared.”
Both the Forest Service and the BLM want everyone to be on their best behavior. But they’re also providing extra knowledge for people.

“One of the things that we are trying to do here in Oregon is to help prepare for all the visitors we are going to have by adding extra fire education out there for those people who are viewing the eclipse,” said Lauren Maloney, a fire mitigation and education specialist with the BLM. “People might not know when they pull over and park on dry grass they can spark a wildfire.”
Both Maloney and Weaver want people to be “extra aware” and to prepare for “different scenarios that could happen.”

An extra layer of concern is there will be a lot of people in forestland during the eclipse. That means it may take extra time for firefighters to get to any wildfire that flare up.

“You can’t expect to get from Point A to Point B on a normal timeline if you’re in the path of totality, that prime area for viewing the eclipse. It will take extra time,” Maloney said. “If there are emergencies, if people are injured or wildfire events, emergency vehicles are going to need access.

People need to be aware and pay attention to emergency vehicles and pull over, not on dry grass, and let emergency vehicles get through.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

17 places to watch the 2017 solar eclipse around Oregon- Oregon Live

 
The eclipse is happening on Monday, Aug. 21, beginning at about 9 a.m. and reaching totality about 10:15 a.m. State officials expect some 1 million people to flood into Oregon for the eclipse, a mass gathering that will undoubtedly lead to clogged roadways, packed cities and overflowing campgrounds. http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/03/17_places_to_watch_the_2017_so.html

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Know Before You Go - Wildfires and Fire Season

Mid-August is peak wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest. Historically, we often have multiple large landscape wildfires burning on public lands that can force unanticipated, last-minute restricted access, including public lands roads. Smoke from nearby wildfires may also be an issue in August and could impede your view of the eclipse.

Familiarize yourself with the Forest Fire Danger Ratings - These signs will inform you about current conditions as you visit public lands.



Friday, March 17, 2017

Dispersed Camping on National Forests in Eastern Oregon


Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest outside of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means there are no toilets, no picnic tables, no trash cans, no treated water, and no fire grates. Typically, dispersed camping is not allowed in the immediate vicinity of developed recreation areas such as campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas or trailheads. There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It's your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience.
 
Stay limits
Malheur National Forest -There is a 14 day stay limit in developed campgrounds and a 30 day stay limit at dispersed sites (non-developed campgrounds).
Umatilla National Forest -There is a 14 day stay limit in both developed campgrounds and dispersed sites.
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest -There is a 14 day stay limit in both developed campgrounds and dispersed sites.

Picking a Campsite
If available, please pick a site that's been previously used by other dispersed campers. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites, so using existing ones will minimize your impact on the forest. If there is no existing campsite, then follow these Leave No Trace guidelines:
  • Camp on bare soil if possible, to avoid damaging or killing plants and grass.
  • Do NOT camp within 200 feet of any water source, plants near water are especially fragile.
  • Don't camp in the middle of a clearing or meadow. Make your campsite less visible so that other visitors will experience "wild" setting.
  • Don't try to level or dig trenches in the ground at your campsite. Select a campsite with good natural drainage.
Visit the Leave No Trace (http://lnt.org/programs/principles.php) website for more information.

Campfires
Many wildfires are caused by human activity, typically escaped campfires from dispersed campers. Campfires are allowed when you are dispersed camping unless there are fire restrictions in effect due to high fire danger conditions. It is your responsibility to know if fire restrictions are in effect before you go camping.

Campfire Tips:
  • Use camp stoves to help conserve ground cover resources. The animals, insects and micro-organisms in the soil need downed, rotting wood to survive.
  • Select a site that is not in a meadow or clearing, that is not next to a tree with low, overhanging branches, that is AT LEAST 200 feet from any water source to protect fragile vegetation.

  • Use existing fire rings if they exist. Minimize the scarring of new rocks, soil and plants by using existing fire rings.

  • Build your fire on a fire pan. An old trash can placed on three rocks allows for a fire at camp without scarring the ground or rocks. When the ashes are COLD and DEAD OUT, the ashes can simply be scattered outside of the campsite.

  • Clear an area of combustible material six feet away from a campfire to reduce the chance of it spreading into a wildfire.

  • If you don't bring your own firewood, collect only dead and downed wood that is on the ground. You should not cut branches off of live trees. If a popular camping area does not have dead and downed wood, bring your own firewood or use a camp stove.

  • NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED.

  • You should have a bucket, shovel, and axe available to control or extinguish escaped fire.

  • BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR CAMPFIRE, MAKE SURE IT IS DEAD OUT. You should be able to put your whole hand into the ashes without being burned and it should be cool to the touch.
Protect Water Quality
Water gets contaminated by visitors who don't take care of their human waste or their garbage and food properly. 
  • Human Waste - Dispersed camping means no bathrooms and no outhouses. That means extra care has to be taken in disposing of human waste.


    • To dispose of feces, dig a hole 6 inches deep and AT LEAST 200 FEET AWAY FROM ANY WATER SOURCE (creeks, wetlands, springs, or lakes).

    • When you're done, fill the hole with the dirt you dug up and take your toilet paper with you to dispose of in a proper waste container.

    • Never defecate or leave toilet paper on top of the ground, it could easily get into the local water source and contaminate it.

    • Empty built-in or portable toilets at sanitary dump stations.Waste Water and Washing
    • Wash your body, dishes, etc., and dispose of waste water AT LEAST 200 FEET AWAY FROM ANY WATER SOURCE.
    • Do not use ANY soap directly in a water source.
    • Use biodegradable soap.
Treating Your Water
We used to be able to take a cup and drink directly out of a sparkling creek, a rushing waterfall or a clear, deep lake. There is NO safe water source anymore. With an increasing population and high visitor use on our National Forests, water sources have been contaminated with invisible, micro-organisms that can make people very ill and even kill them in some cases. Giardia is a common contamination that has been spread to many water sources through improper care of human waste and wild animals. It will cause diarrhea, cramping, and other physical problems.

The only way to ensure that water from an undeveloped source is safe is to treat it. Drinking water should be heated until it comes to a rolling boil, or treated using purification tablets or a water filter. Water from faucets in developed recreation areas are periodically tested and are safe to use without treating.

Camp Waste
If you “PACK IT IN”, always "PACK IT OUT"! Please leave your campsite cleaner than you found it. Pack out ALL your garbage, including aluminum foil, cans, toilet paper, cigarette butts and plastic products.

Have Fun!
If you follow the tips above, you can have a safe, low impact, primitive camping experience. Thank you for helping care for YOUR National Forest!
 
For Specific Regulations on Individual National Forests- Please Visit:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Safety First-Protect your eyes

From NASA-You should never look at the sun directly without equipment that's specifically designed for looking at the sun. Even using binoculars or a telescope, you could severely damage your eyes or even go blind! Solar eclipses themselves are safe. But looking at anything as bright as the sun is NOT safe without proper protection. And no, sunglasses do NOT count. 
Remember, during the eclipse, you'll be staring at the sun. NASA recommends wearing glasses with a special filter, you can use number 14 welders glass or buy a pair of special-made solar viewing shades, or using a DIY pinhole projector.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guidlines for viewing the eclipse on Federal Public Lands in Oregon

 

 Be Safe!
·        Understand risks, respect signs and barriers, and stay within your limits.
·        Most remote areas have limited services and facilities, so pack plenty of food and water.
·        Be prepared for warm temperatures and bring sun and eye protection.

Know Before You Go
·        Plan ahead to ensure a safe and fun experience.
·        Make sure you have the proper supplies and gear.­
·        Expect large crowds. Most lodging is booked. Options for camping are limited. 
·        Familiarize yourself with the rules and specific information about the site you are visiting.
·        Cell service may not be available, so plan your route in advance and pack a map.
·        Many roads on public lands are gravel and may require a high-clearance or four-wheel drive vehicle.

Recreate Responsibly
·        Help us protect our lands for all to enjoy.
·        Tread lightly and leave no trace. Leave your site better than you found it.
·        Remove all trash and remember to pack it in, pack it out!
·        To learn more, visit www.lnt.org/learn/7-principles.

Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires
·        August is peak wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest. A small spark can rapidly become a large fire.
·        Know fire risks and respect fire restrictions, such as campfire bans.
·        Avoid parking or driving on dry grass as your vehicle can spark a wildfire.
·        Vehicles are required to have a shovel and fire extinguisher or gallon of water in many areas.
·        For more information on fire prevention and current fire restrictions, visit www.keeporegongreen.org

Additional Resources
·        Travel Oregon Eclipse Webpage: www.TravelOregon.com/Eclipse