PENDLETON, Ore. (April 26, 2022) — Umatilla National Forest personal-use firewood permits will be available through several local vendors beginning Sunday, May 1, and at Forest Service offices during regular business hours beginning Monday, May 2.
All National Forests in Oregon and Washington are now offering personal-use firewood free of charge; however a permit is still required to cut and haul firewood. The maximum limit for personal-use firewood on the Umatilla National Forest is 12-cords-per-household-per-year. Individuals that require more than 12 cords, or those wanting to sell firewood, may purchase a commercial or “charge” firewood permit for $10 per cord with a $30 minimum permit. Charge permits can only be purchased through a Forest Service office.
Vendors are issuing personal-use firewood permits in increments of four-cord packets and may charge an additional processing fee up to $2 for each packet acquired through local businesses. A list of vendors is available on the Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.
“Our vendors provide a great service to our woodcutters by offering firewood permits during hours that are convenient for the public,” said Eric Watrud, Forest Supervisor. Most vendors are open early mornings, late evenings and on the weekends. An additional fee is not charged if you acquire a permit from a Forest Service office. All Umatilla National Forest offices are still offering virtual services to the public. Individuals interested in acquiring a personal-use firewood permit from the Forest directly may call (541) 278-3716 or send an email to email@example.com. A Forest Service employee will assist individuals with completing the procedures to receive the personal-use firewood packet either through an in-person appointment or through the mail.
Firewood cutters are required to carry an axe, a shovel, an 8 oz. capacity or larger fire extinguisher, and have their chainsaw equipped with an approved spark arrester when cutting wood.
Some areas on the Umatilla National Forest are still not accessible due to mud, snow or snow drifts. Forest visitors are asked to use extreme care to avoid getting stuck or causing extensive and illegal resource damage to the land and vegetation. Woodcutters are asked to:
- Contact the local Ranger District office 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.
- Be prepared! Pack additional food, water, clothing and other emergency supplies.
- Let someone know your destination and estimated time of return.
The public is reminded that some roads and trails are closed in areas with significant flood damage from the 2020 February and May flood events. Detailed closure maps and updates on flood repair activities are available on the Forest website and at any Forest office. Closure signs will also be posted on the ground.
Tribal members exercising their Treaty rights are reminded that permits are not required but they should be in possession of valid enrollment identification when cutting or transporting firewood.
As we move into the hot, dry summer months, Public Use Restrictions (PURs) may be implemented. Restrictions will be announced by 6 p.m. on the day prior to the restriction(s) going into effect. Weekend restrictions will be announced by 6 p.m. on Friday. An updated recording at 1-877-958-9663 will let you know if firewood cutting is: allowed all day; restricted to specific hours (i.e. 1 p.m. chainsaw shutdown); restricted to specific areas of the Forest; or closed completely due to wildfire danger. Restrictions will also be posted on the forest’s website. The public is responsible to check if firewood cutting is allowed.
Firewood season on the Umatilla National Forest will end Nov. 30, 2022.
For more information on firewood cutting, please contact the Supervisor’s Office at (541) 278-3716 or your local District Office.
- North Fork John Day Ranger District: (541) 427-3231
- Heppner Ranger District: (541) 676-9187
- Walla Walla Ranger District: (509) 522-6290
- Pomeroy Ranger District: (509) 843-1891
Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.