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Hunting season underway, fire danger extreme on the forest

(Image courtesy Umpqua National Forest)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Officials are encouraging hunters to abide by Umpqua National Forest area closures and to know fire restrictions.

Bow season officially began Saturday as hunters headed out to the Umpqua National Forest to set up camp and begin their hunt. Due to wildfire activity throughout the forest, public access to many roads, trails, and general areas is restricted.

Forest officials and fire managers encourage hunters to know what areas of the forest are closed and understand the fire restrictions currently in place

While some areas are closed, much of the Umpqua National Forest remains open with no wildfire danger.

Before heading out, hunters should pick up a motor vehicle use map covering the ranger district where they intend to hunt. The free maps are available at Forest Service offices or through the Avenza app on smart devices.

Highway 138 is closed from milepost 43 to milepost 54 due to wildfires in the Umpqua North Complex. Along the North Umpqua River corridor, closed areas include sections north and south of the North Umpqua River from milepost 30 (east of Susan Creek Campground) to milepost 51 (just west of Eagle Rock Campground). An area south of Highway 138 between Watson Falls and Garwood Butte is also closed. Also, several roads and trails on the Diamond Lake, North Umpqua and Tiller Ranger Districts are closed.

A detailed area closure map for the Umpqua NF can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd556339.pdf.

Due to extreme fire danger, the potential for human-caused fires, and concern for public safety, fire restrictions on the Forest remain in place.

Open fires, including campfires, cooking fires, and warming fires are prohibited, except within concrete or metal fire rings in developed campgrounds. While charcoal stoves and grills are prohibited, portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle, or in a watercraft while on water.

Operating an internal combustion engine, such as chainsaws and generators, is also restricted. Generators with approved spark arrestors may be used in designated recreation sites.

Other forest activities currently prohibited include the use of welding, acetylene or other torches, fireworks, tracer ammunition, and exploding targets.

The Umpqua NF remains in an Industrial Fire Precautionary Level III where all firewood cutting is prohibited.

For a complete list of fire restrictions, log onto https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd554660.pdf, call 541-957-3200, or visit your local Forest Service office.

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