In response to the ongoing Smith River Complex, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has taken the necessary step of closing public lands situated south of O’Brien extending to the California border. This decision, primarily centered around ensuring public safety and safeguarding the well-being of firefighter personnel, comes as the wildfire continues to pose significant threats.
The closure order effectively restricts access for members of the public to the designated closed areas. As a result, all recreational activities, including hiking, hunting, and camping, are strictly prohibited within these regions until further notice. The BLM is placing these restrictions to mitigate potential hazards and uphold safety standards during the firefighting efforts.
At present, the Pacific Northwest Team 13 is actively involved in combating the blaze along the northern perimeter of the fire. Their dedicated efforts are instrumental in managing and containing the Smith River Complex.
Steve Lydick, the Coos Bay District Manager, emphasized the critical nature of this closure order, stating, “This closure order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel.” He further added that the BLM is working in close coordination with the fire team and local emergency managers to implement effective public safety measures, considering the multifaceted challenges posed by the Smith River Complex.
The closure of public lands in the specified areas is a proactive step aimed at minimizing risks and ensuring a controlled response to the Smith River Complex.
You can track these fires through our 2023 Wildfire Season partner’s Wildfire Aware app.