People looking for some outdoor opportunities in the fresh snow in the Umatilla National Forest will travel on forest roads at their own risk, the U.S. Forest Service warned on Wednesday.

A forest service press release states that it does not plow roads or clear them of debris during the winter months.

The forest service closes many roads during the winter to protect wildlife, but on the roads that stay open, winter weather can quickly create hazardous conditions for drivers.

“A pleasant outing can turn into a miserable ordeal in a matter of minutes,” Umatilla National Forest Roads Manager Lonnie Ruchert said in a statement. “Be prepared. Make sure you’re self-contained and able to meet all conditions that may arise.”

The forest service is advising travelers, who drive on forest roads, to contact their local rangers and consult the service’s motorized vehicle use map to check for closures.

Other tips include checking weather forecasts and snow conditions, packing extra food, water, and clothes, and giving friends back home information about the trip.

For more information, call the the Umatilla National Forest Supervisor Office at 541-278-3716.

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