PENDLETON, Ore. -- Hunters in the Umatilla National Forest will need to plan ahead to avoid getting caught in prescribed burns in the early fall that are needed to encourage healthy vegetation and improve forage for big game.
Area, road and trail closures will go into effect just before burn operations, which can take up to five days.
Hunters should not camp in these areas:
* The Gulliford Burn in the Heppner Hunting Unit in Oregon, which encompasses 4,000 acres on the North Fork John Day Ranger District west of Highway 395 between forest road 5308 and forest road 5314.
* The North Wenatchee Burn in the Mountain View Hunting Unit in Washington, which totals 4,300 acres on the Pomeroy Ranger District in the area north of Wenatchee Creek, south of forest roads 43, 44, and 4304 and east of Indian Tom Trail No. 3119.
* The Alder Creek Burn in the Wenaha Hunting Unit in Oregon, covering 1,800 acres in the Lookout Mountain area east of forest road 62, south of forest road 62-340 and west of the Grande Ronde River on the Walla Walla Ranger District.
Firefighters will ignite the burn perimeter by hand using drip torches. The interior of the burns will be ignited from helicopters that drop balls through the tree canopy that catch fire on the ground.
Maps are posted at www. fs.usda.gov/umatilla.
For more information, call 541-278-3704.