Fire Danger Prompts Sierra Pacific, Port Blakely to Close Public Access

By The Chronicle

A rash of hot, dry weather has prompted Sierra Pacific Industries to close off public access to much of its forestlands, including all company holdings in Lewis and Cowlitz counties.

The announcement was made on Tuesday and the closures will remain in effect until further notice.

“Unfortunately, due to fire danger, we’ve been forced to close our local forestlands to public access,” wrote Lisa Perry, community relations representative for Sierra Pacific Industries, in an email received by The Chronicle.

Based out of Anderson, California, Sierra Pacific Industries owns and manages nearly 1.9 million acres of timberland in Washington and California. A press release from the company read, “SPI takes pride in allowing non-motorized public access for hunting and other recreational values but must take this action to protect the resources and for public safety.”

Port Blakely Closes Forestland Due to Fire Danger

The Port Blakely company announced Tuesday it would close its forestlands in Washington and Oregon to the public due to extreme fire danger.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may cause to recreational users, our decision to prohibit access reflects our priorities: public safety and the protection of our forests,” according to a press release from Port Blakely. “Port Blakely employees and security officials are monitoring the weather conditions and unauthorized access.”

The closure applies to people on foot, horses, motorized vehicles and any other type of access.

The closure is temporary. Access to the land will be permitted once fire danger decreases and forest conditions are safe, the release states.