Columbia Land Trust has two important updates related to fire closures on conservation lands.
POSTED July 30, 2018
- CLOSURES DUE TO FIRE DANGER: Klickitat River Haul Road Natural Area is closed to all public access due to extreme fire danger. The haul road corridor is a beloved recreational asset and natural area and we don’t take closures lightly. We will reopen the road as soon as fire danger falls to a more moderate level. Thank you for your patience.
- CLOSURE NOTICE CORRECTION: A recent notice was released to the public in the Columbia River Gorge area announcing the closure of Columbia Land Trust lands due to high fire risk. This was a partial error. We have only closed public access to the Klickitat River Haul Road Natural Area – a closure that occurs annually during periods of high fire risk to protect natural resources and public safety in the very remote canyon area. We use the WA Department of Natural Resources Industrial Fire Precaution Level System (IFPL) to determine when high risk occurs. When the IFPL for this area reaches level 3, we close the road. We will reopen the road when the IFPL drops back to level 2 or 1. We appreciate your respect for the safety of those around you and the resources on which we all depend. Columbia Land Trust’s other protected areas remain open to the public until further notice. Please use extreme caution when recreating during fire season and follow these basic safety tips:
- Refrain from using open flames for cooking or warming, even in fire rings or BBQs. Wind can carry embers and roots can smolder and reignite long after you leave.
- Don’t smoke or use fireworks.
- Do not park or drive vehicles on or over dry grass and shrubs. The exhaust from your vehicle is hot enough to start fires.
- Make sure chains or any other metal objects associated with your vehicle are not dragging on rocks or pavement. Sparks start shoulder fires even without a vehicle leaving the paved or gravel surface of the road.
- Carry 5 gallons of water, a shovel and a blanket or towel in case a fire does ignite. Never approach a fire from downwind. Fire travels quickly in dry, windy environments and flames of any size are dangerous. If your initial suppression efforts are unsuccessful, get to safety and call 9-1-1.
- If you do have to cross dry fuels in your vehicle, set up a fire watch to detect accidental ignitions.
- Have an emergency response plan in place. In the event of a fire, where would you go? How would you get help?
- Where there is smoke, there is fire. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see smoke. If you started a fire, it is imperative you get help as immediately as possible to limit the damage you may be held liable for and to demonstrate a good-faith effort to remedy the situation.