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Jun-30-2022 14:30printcomments

Celebrate Safely this Independence Day Weekend

Before going into a forest, check fire danger level and public use restrictions.

outdoor essentials
Image: USDA

(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) - The Willamette National Forest Service wants everyone to enjoy a fun and safe time outdoors as we approach Independence Day weekend. Visitors are reminded that all fireworks are prohibited on public lands at all times and we encourage visitors to keep fire safety practices in mind when vising the forest.


All explosives and pyrotechnic devices, including fireworks and explosive targets, are never allowed on national forest, regardless of weather or conditions.

Violators who bring fireworks onto national forests and grasslands can be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced with up to six months in jail (36 CFR 261.52) and may be liable for suppression costs and property damage.

Recreation Risks

Before visiting public lands, check what the overall fire danger level is at and what public use restrictions are in effect at If cooking outdoors, use a fuel stove with an on/off switch to prepare hot meals.

If campfires are permitted, keep coals inside a steel container or fire ring. Never leave a fire unattended. To extinguish a campfire, stir water into the ashes and break up any coals until the ground feels cold.

Motorized Equipment & Vehicle Safety

If you are towing equipment or a trailer, make sure tow chains are not dragging where they can strike pavement or rocks, which can cause sparks. If you smoke, find a vegetation-free area or stay inside your car; never toss lit cigarettes from your vehicle.

Park on vegetation-free surfaces – the hot undercarriage of your car can set dry grass on fire. Bring a fire extinguisher or several gallons of water when travelling in remote areas. Remember that in an emergency, first responders and their vehicles will need immediate access – do not block forest roads!

Whether you are camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, boating, or riding on the Willamette National Forest this weekend, remember that fires can start anywhere, at any time. Make sure you have the 10 Outdoor Essentials on hand and have a plan for what to do if disaster strikes.

Pack the "10 essentials" and be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes or delays:

    1. Appropriate footwear: Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear that can withstand the terrain and the length of your trip.
    2. Map: Bring a printed map. Don't rely on your phone for navigation in emergencies. You can't count on cell phone coverage in remote areas.
    3. Extra Food: Carry more than the minimum requirement of food. Such as: Power bars, jerky or chocolate.
    4. Extra Water: Bring extra water! It's often helpful to carry water purification tablets or a water filter.
    5. Extra Clothing: Bring layers of clothing that are not cotton. This way you can regulate your temperature if the weather shifts.
    6. Emergency Items: Bring a flashlight & extra batteries, whistle, matches.
    7. First Aid Kit: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
    8. Multi-tool or Knife: plus a gear repair kit
    9. Backpack: Bring a backpack that can fit your essentials and any extra gear you need.
    10. Sun protection: Hat, sunglasses & sunscreen.

Additional Items to Consider

  • Additional wayfinding tools: Compass & or GPS
  • Signaling device: Foil, pocket mirror
  • Prescriptions: glasses, medications (bring extra)
  • Radio with extra batteries
  • Shelter: Space blanket or a piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter)
  • Trash bag: (makes an adequate poncho)

Visit at Willamette National Forest for the latest updates.

Source: Forest Service (OSDA)


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