JOHN DAY, PRAIRIE CITY, HINES – Despite being at the beginning of spring, many areas in Eastern Oregon are covered in snow or may have obstructions on the road. Forest officials caution the public that Forest roads are not maintained for spring travel. Visitors traveling to the Forest are doing so at their own risk and should plan before starting their trip.
The Malheur National Forest does not plow roads or clear them for downed trees or boulders in the early to mid-spring. The conditions of roads can change dramatically and without warning. Spring weather often brings wind, snow and rain that can substantially affect road and trail conditions rapidly, causing hazards and obstructions.
Eastern Oregon weather can change quickly and present all four seasons in a day. Visitors should make sure they are prepared for all conditions that may arise.
Forest officials urge visitors that are considering travel routes through the Malheur National Forest during to contact a local ranger district office before starting their trip.
Additionally, the Forest encourages visitors to practice the following spring safety travel tips:
•Know the area and what to expect. Consult maps and local authorities about the area of travel, safety information, and regulations for the area of the planned visit. Do not rely solely on navigational devices.
•ALWAYS check the weather forecast and plan the trip accordingly. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
•Monitor snow and rain conditions frequently.
•Bring extra food, water, and clothes.
•Show a friend a map of planned route and let them know when you expect to return and remember to notify that person upon return.
•Make certain the vehicle and each member of the group is adequately prepared for harsh spring conditions.
•If stuck, place the vehicles floor mats in front of the slipping tires, and always have a shovel in the vehicle.
Information on local area road conditions is available at https://www.tripcheck.com/.
For more information on the Malheur National Forest, please visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/malheur, follow U.S. Forest Service- Malheur National Forest on Facebook, and follow @MalheurNF on Twitter for all the latest forest news.