Last updated: August 6, 2020
The spread of Covid-19 created a widespread closure of public lands and recreational facilities across the country. Here’s a summary of the current closures in place for land management agencies in Oregon’s high desert.
As outdoor spaces reopen, please be sure to be thoughtful and recreate responsibly by continuing to keep social distancing, wash your hands vigorously and frequently, and knowing what’s open and closed before you head out. For additional guidance, see recreateresponsibly.org
Note: As of July 1, 2020, Oregon state is requiring people ages 12 and older in Oregon to don a mask whenever they’re in a public indoor space. As of July 15, face coverings are also required in outdoor public spaces when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible.
With the summer heat, we have entered fire season. Open fires and charcoal grills are prohibited in many areas except designated campgrounds. Avoid all spark-producing activities including driving over dry vegetation. Use this map of fire restrictions to zoom in on your destination and check restrictions before you head out. Check for active fires and area closures from the following sources. Oregon Department of Forestry updates a map of active fires in the state, and InciWeb tracks large fires nationally. Central Oregon Fire Info provides detailed updates on local fires. Interagency dispatch centers in Burns, Vale, and Lakeview keep track of fires of all sizes in southeastern Oregon.
As of 7/23/20 the Ben Young Fire near Paisley has led to closures on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The closure applies to portions of the Oregon Desert Trail and Fremont National Recreation Trail, as well as roads and campgrounds in the area. Read the closure order for details if you are planning to travel to the area.