Extremely dry conditions, heat, unusually high winds, and thousands of downed trees have created unprecedented fire and public safety concerns throughout the Siuslaw National Forest. Firefighting resources are stretched thin across the region and the nation and conditions remain unsafe for forest employees to address hazards due to downed trees. Due to these conditions, the Siuslaw National Forest is temporarily closing to public access. This closure covers all National Forest forested, coastal, and sand areas and includes the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Sand Lake, developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, day use areas, wilderness areas, and all forest roads and trails.
Forest officials strongly encourage the public to avoid visiting the forest effective immediately and the closure goes into effect at Noon Pacific Daylight Time on September 10, 2020. This is a temporary closure to protect public, employee, and firefighter safety and health. It will be re-evaluated regularly as conditions change.
Extreme fire weather has caused rapid growth of fires throughout the northwest, and new ignitions have strained all resources in the region. Nationally, and within Oregon, firefighting resources are operating at maximum capacity and resources are severely limited.
“They don’t happen often but the Oregon Coast Range has experienced very large fires in the past,” said Forest Supervisor Robert Sanchez. “Most coastal fires are human-caused so by restricting public access at this time of highest risk we can reduce the chance of new fires igniting when firefighting resources are stretched to capacity. We also have thousands of trees down from recent high winds adding additional safety concerns. We’re asking for people’s patience and cooperation until conditions become safe.”
It is critical that forest visitors follow this important closure for their own safety and the safety of our neighboring communities, employees, and firefighters.
More information and the latest updates can be found at our website, www.fs.usda.gov/siuslaw, and on our Facebook page.