PENDLETON — With continued reduced initial attack on new fires across the Umatilla National Forest, officials are taking more steps to reduce the area closures on Friday, Aug. 13, reopening access to most of the Umatilla National Forest lands in Oregon, according to a press release.

National forest lands within proximity to active large wildfires, such as the Lick Creek, Green Ridge and Elbow Creek fires, will remain closed to public entry.

The modified closure prohibits access to all Umatilla National Forest lands in Washington state — on both the Pomeroy and Walla Walla ranger districts — and closes lands surrounding the Elbow Creek Fire on the Walla Walla Ranger District in Wallowa County, the release said. The Elbow Creek Fire closures encompass lands south and east of where Alder Creek intersects with Forest Service Road 62 to the forest boundary. Public entry is prohibited in the areas identified in the closure, which includes lands, roads, trails and recreational facilities.

Visitors planning a trip to areas within the closure should cancel any plans for the next several weeks. These areas remain closed to protect public and firefighter safety as the fire crews continue to actively suppress wildfires, while also responding to new smoke reports.

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