As recreation staff ready campgrounds for the approaching Memorial Day weekend, Six Rivers National Forest officials are reminding campers to bring water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and extinguishing campfires.
Only two campgrounds — Pearch Creek Campground in the Orleans Ranger District and Oak Bottom Campground in the Ukonom Ranger District — have potable water, spokeswoman Bridget Litten said Wednesday. And while flush toilets are available at Panther Flat and Patrick Creek campgrounds, both in the Smith River National Recreation Area, there is no water for sinks and showers, she said.
“We’ve had staffing issues with our water treatment operators,” Litten said. “Public health and safety that’s really our top priority. All water will be shut off at most campgrounds on the forest.”
According to Litten, one water treatment operator is temporarily working in another position and is on leave while two are out for health reasons.
Six Rivers National Forest houses 18 developed campgrounds in addition to rustic camping sites dispersed throughout the forest, according to a Six Rivers National Forest news release. Most developed campgrounds are equipped with vault or flush toilets, fire rings or stoves, tables and parking for two vehicles. Some campgrounds have electrical hookups and many have hosts, according to the news release.
Campsite reservations may be made up to six months in advance for Grassy Flat, Panther Flat, Patrick Creek, Dillon Creek, Fish Lake, Oak Bottom, Nordheimer, Pearch Creek and Boise Creek campgrounds by calling 877-444-6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov.
Sites at Fir Cove and Mad River campgrounds and all other facilities are available on a first-come first-served basis, according to the Six Rivers news release. Campsite fees range from $8 to $15 per night for single sites.
The East Fork Campground in the Lower Trinity Ranger District and the Fish Lake Campground in the Orleans Ranger District will be closed until mid-June to avoid spreading Port Orford cedar root disease, according to the news release. The pathogen lives in water and wet soil and can easily be transported by vehicles. Off-road vehicles, dirt bikes, mountain bikes and horses are also not allowed in the campgrounds or on adjacent trails, according to the news release.
For more information about Port Orford cedar root disease-related closures, visit https://go.usa.gov/xQPET. Six Rivers officials will determine if those areas should be reopened by mid-June, according to the news release.
A permit is necessary to have a campfire or barbecue outside of developed campgrounds. They may be obtained from any Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or CalFire office or by visiting www.preventwildfireca.org/campfires.