The U.S. Forest Service plans to close roads and limit access to certain areas in the region for several days leading up to and including Aug. 21, the day of the solar eclipse.
Areas in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness closed because of the Whitewater Fire are expected to remain closed at least through the eclipse, the Forest Service said in a news release.
Although only a small portion of the Deschutes National Forest is in the eclipse’s path of totality, there will be several temporary Forest Service road closures to promote public safety and protect resources, according to the release.
The Forest Service advises people to “know before you go” for eclipse viewing.
Users can visit http://go.usa.gov/xNJaZ to find maps that show national forest lands that are open and lie in the path of totality of the solar eclipse.
Users can also call 541-912-7548 for further information about the closures.
Central Oregon is at the peak of fire season, meaning fire danger is extreme, according to the Forest Service.
Visitors planning to camp should bring a propane stove or alternative means for cooking. In addition, visitors are allowed to smoke only in closed vehicles or on bodies of water.
Because grass and brush are tall, parking hot vehicles on top of vegetation can ignite a fire.
When possible, the Forest Service asks users to find areas devoid of vegetation or clear an area to park.
The Forest Service also reminds users to leave all fireworks at home: It is illegal to discharge or even possess fireworks on public land.
Because state officials predict thousands of visitors to Oregon’s public lands for the eclipse, users should expect crowds, traffic congestion, difficulty finding a campsite or parking spot, and limited supplies in smaller communities. The Forest Service recommends bringing ample water, food and emergency supplies.
For eclipse related information in Central Oregon call “211” for general information, and for emergency and preparedness information, visit Central Oregon Emergency Information Network at coemergencyinfo.blogspot.com.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org