Hood River County Closes Forestlands

Hood River County Commissioners voted Friday to institute a full closure of County forestlands effective immediately due to the extreme fire danger in the Northwest.  County Forester Doug Thiesies told the Commission that along with extremely dry conditions, firefighting resources are tapped out with the large number of major fires in the region.  He added the heavy smoke in the area will make it difficult to detect new fire starts.  Commissioners had closed the forestlands to nighttime recreational use over a week ago, but Commissioner Les Perkins noted conditions had changed in the course of that time.  Perkins also pointed out that the closure is easier to enforce with the Mt. Hood National Forest also closing its lands and actively patrolling.  Landowners with private property in holdings will continue be issued permits by the Forest Manager.  Some areas will continue to be a passive closure and gate closures will remain in addition to closing additional existing primary road gates on North and South Gilhouley, Post Canyon, Riordan Hill and Binns Hill.  Temporary forest road closure signage will be updated to reflect a full closure and placed in areas that may have an imminent threat of fire spread.  County officials will assess conditions daily to determine when the forestlands can be reopened.

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