2017 Firewood permits for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will go on sale May 1. Personal-use firewood permits can be purchased for $5 per cord, with a four cord minimum and a 10 cord maximum. Personal-use firewood permits will be available at Forest Service offices on Monday, May 1 and at several local vendors throughout the area. Commercial firewood permits are only available at Ranger District Offices.
Vendors that sell firewood permits may add an additional vendor fee of up to $2 per permit. “Our vendors provide a great service to the woodcutter by selling firewood permits at times more convenient to the public,” said Tom Montoya, Forest Supervisor. Most vendors are open early mornings, late evenings and on the weekends. An additional fee is not charged if you purchase a permit at a Forest Service Office.
Firewood cutters will be required to keep a record of the date, time, and quantity of firewood removed from the National Forest System Lands. There is a chart on the front of the permit called the “Product Quantity Removal Record.” Law enforcement officers will be enforcing this law. Additional information can be found in the Firewood Guide that accompanies each permit.
To provide consistency and minimize confusion, firewood permittees will follow the same system as commercial operations and will be affected by Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL):
- Level I – 1 hour fire watch after completing chainsaw activities.
- Level II – Partial Hootowl – no internal combustion engine operation between the hours of 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM and a 1 hour fire watch.
- Level III – Partial Shutdown – no internal combustion engine operation (No Firewood Cutting)
- Level IV – no internal combustion engine operation (No Firewood Cutting)
During fire season, IFPL levels can be found at: http://bmidc.org/ifpls.shtml
Firewood cutting information and restrictions will also be updated and posted on a recorded message. Restrictions will be announced by 6:00 pm on the day prior to the restriction going into effect. Weekend restrictions will be announced by 6:00 pm on Friday. It is the public’s responsibility to check to see if restrictions are in affect. Call the appropriate Forest’s Firewood Hotline to check if firewood cutting is allowed, restricted, or prohibited. An updated recorded message will let you know if firewood cutting is: allowed all day; restricted to specific hours (i.e. 1:00 pm chainsaw shutdown); restricted to specific areas of the Forest; or closed completely due to wildfire danger:
Wallowa-Whitman Firewood Hotlines:
- Baker City (541) 523-1234
- La Grande (541) 962-8679
- Joseph (541) 426-5552
Permits are not valid in areas where firewood cutting restrictions are in effect. Woodcutters are also encouraged to remain in the work area for a minimum of one hour after the chainsaw is shut down to watch for and suppress any fires or smoldering duff. A one hour fire watch is required during IFPL 1 and 2.
Mountain travel requires care to avoid getting stuck or causing extensive and illegal resource damage to the land and vegetation. Woodcutters are asked to check our Current Road Conditions Report before heading out to make sure the area you’re traveling to is accessible. Avoid driving off roads and onto wet, unstable ground or fragile meadow environments to load firewood. Pack additional food, water, clothing and other emergency supplies to ensure you’re fully prepared. Let someone know the destination you plan to cut wood and an estimated time you should return.
For more information on firewood cutting, please contact:
- La Grande Ranger District: (541) 963-7186
- Wallowa Mountains Office (Joseph): (541) 426-5546
- Whitman Ranger District Baker City: (541) 523-6391
- Whitman Ranger District Halfway: (541) 742-7511
- Wallowa-Whitman Supervisor’s Office: (541) 523-1218