Portland, Ore. – With the solar eclipse just days away and multiple large wildfires burning in Oregon, Forest Service officials urge visitors traveling for the eclipse to “know before you go” if local jurisdictions have implemented restrictions or closures.
Skip the campfire: Because of extreme fire conditions, most national forests have banned all campfires, which includes dispersed camping, developed recreation sites, and campfire rings. Visitors are encouraged to bring an alternative fuel source for cooking, such as a backpacking stove or propane burner.
Fire restrictions: The highest level of public use restrictions are in place on most national forests. Smoking is prohibited, except in vehicles, trailers, and developed recreation sites. Do not park, idle, or drive on dry grass as your vehicle can spark a wildfire. Ensure all parts of your vehicle are secure and not dragging. A loose safety chain or muffler striking a rock or pavement could send a shower of sparks into dry vegetation.
Recreation closures: New wildfires have required closing some campgrounds, recreation sites, and hiking trails to ensure public and firefighter safety. The region has experienced significant lightning activity in recent days, prompting additional closures and increasing the likelihood for new wildfires. Before heading out, make sure your destination is still open and safe to visit.
Smoke Impacts: With multiple wildfires burning in the region, smoke may impact air quality and visibility for eclipse viewing in some areas. Check the Oregon Smoke Information Blog for information on how wildfire smoke may be affecting your community or destination.
“We are excited to welcome visitors to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event on public lands,” said Jim Peña, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester. “To ensure a safe and memorable eclipse experience, have a plan, be prepared, and know before you go what kind of restrictions or closures may be in place.”
There are currently 16 large wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest with approximately 7,200 firefighters and support personnel committed. Please help us protect and support our firefighters by not adding new human-caused wildfires to the mix.
Visitors can find more specific information and tips for viewing the eclipse on Oregon national forests at the Pacific Northwest Regional Eclipse Homepage.