Forest Supervisor Warns of Extreme Danger in Forests - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

9/28/05

Forest Supervisor Warns of Extreme Danger in Forests

“The majority of recreation areas in the Angelina, Sabine and Davy Crockett National Forests remain closed due to downed trees, lack of electricity and impassable roads,” Salinas said. “For hunters who use designated hunter camps, it’s best if they call the ranger office to check on accessibility before they come out. The Sam Houston National Forest has most recreation areas open and the Caddo and LBJ Grasslands in northeast Texas are open as usual.”

 

Bow season begins Saturday, Oct. 1 in Texas but Rita’s swath has downed trees, power lines and made road passage in some areas impossible.

 

“I know from the calls we’ve received that hunters are determined to be in the forests when bow season opens,” Salinas said. “But what we have in the forests in the wake of Hurricane Rita is an extremely dangerous situation where people could lose their lives from falling tree limbs.”

 

To compound the severity of the situation, Hurricane Rita did not dump nearly as much rain on the area as hoped and fire danger remains extremely high.

 

“Considering the extreme fire hazard due to high temperatures and a serious lack of rainfall, we’re asking everyone to use the highest level of caution when visiting the forests and grasslands,” Salinas said. “To make matters worse, people are burning the debris they are cleaning up from the hurricane. A careless fire can to more damage to the forest than the hurricane.”

 

The only type of fires allowed on the national forests and grasslands must be confined to developed recreation areas in receptacles designed for fire such as gas and propane grills, lanterns and stoves. The ban also includes smoking, which is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation site or in a three-foot circular area cleared of all flammable material.

 

 “This is a critical time for the forests and grasslands, and it’s important that people be watchful for wildfires and call local fire authorities as soon as a fire is spotted,” Salinas said. “We need help from our visitors and neighbors in the surrounding communities during these dry days to ensure that the beautiful forests and grasslands and those on adjacent lands are safe from careless wildfires,” he said.

 

The National Forests and Grasslands in Texas cover 675,832 acres of public land in east and northeast Texas

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