From Paul Anderson, Station Director of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, 8/10/2023:
"The Lookout Mountain fire within the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest continues to elude containment as fuel loading, topography, and access limitations impede mitigation and suppression efforts. Researcher and staff access to the upper watersheds within the forest have the potential to impede fire operations activity and exacerbate personnel safety concerns. With the forecast showing increasing temperatures combined with lack of containment I am directing that all researchers (Forest Service, university, and any other recognized research partners or collaborators) and staff access to the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest will be constrained in the following ways:
- As of 17:00, Thursday, August 10, 2023, all field activities, accessed by road or trail, by foot or vehicle, are to cease throughout the experimental forest and will not resume until further notice as provided by the site manager, Mark Schulze.
- Researchers and staff temporarily housed in HJ Andrews facilities will vacate the premises and headquarters compounds by 17:00, Sunday, August 13, 2023. Facilities and compound grounds will remain vacated untill further notice as provided by the site manager, Mark Schulze.
Exceptions to this directive are limited to staff or researchers working in direct service to and at the request of fire operations staff, as vetted by Nora Miebach and as coordinated through the site manager Mark Schulze and Lead Scientist Brooke Penaluna.
The timing of field access and facilities use restrictions may change or be accelerated by further decisions of fire operations staff, the District Ranger, or the PNW Station Director.
These measures are undertaken to promote the safety of all persons, researchers and fire operations, and facilities in a dynamic fire situation. Your cooperation is very much appreciated.