Fire danger closes forestland in Washington, Oregon

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

Published:

Updated: September 7, 2011, 9:18 PM

 

Due to increasingly high fire danger, Longview Timberlands has closed public access to most of its forestland in Washington and Oregon, the company announced Wednesday.

The closure means Longview Timberlands’ Washington property east of Interstate 5 won’t be open to any recreational activity. The company is closing all of its Oregon forestland. Longview foresters will be closing gates and posting notices at entry points this week, according to the company. Security patrols will also increase for the rest of the fire season.

Warm, consistently dry weather in recent weeks has significantly raised fire danger in the Northwest, with crews already battling major blazes in some spots. The “Dollar Lake” fire near Mount Hood, Ore., has scorched more than 4,000 acres as firefighters struggle to contain it.

Longview Timberlands owns and manages more than 600,000 acres of forestland in Washington and Oregon, including in Clark and Cowlitz counties.