Bow hunters will be setting up camp in the Umpqua National Forest this weekend as hunting season officially begins today. The U.S. Forest Service reminds the public wildfires across the forest are restricting access to various roads, trails and campgrounds.
Closed areas include Highway 138 from milepost 43 to milepost 54, sections north and south of the North Umpqua River from milepost 30 to milepost 51 and the area south of Highway 138 between Watson Falls and Garwood Butte. Several roads and trails on the Diamond Lake, North Umpqua and Tiller Ranger Districts are closed as well.
However, much of the Umpqua National Forest is open to those wishing to recreate in wildfire-free zones. Hunters can pick up motor vehicle use maps of specific ranger districts through the Forest Service offices or the Avenza application on smart devices.
Fire restrictions remain enforced in the forest. Open fires, except within concrete or metal fire rings in designated campgrounds, are prohibited, as are charcoal stoves and grills. Smoking is prohibited unless within an enclosed vehicle or in a watercraft on the water. The use of chainsaws, generators and other internal combustion engines are restricted and other prohibited activities and items include welding, 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, call 541-957-3200, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd554660.pdf.