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Forest Service offers tips to stay safe in national forests this summer

National Parks in the Pacific Northwest are adapting to pandemic restrictions. Here's what you need to know before you go.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Lots of people are heading to national forests in both Oregon and Washington. There is a lot of room to get outside and have fun, but things have changed because of the pandemic.

Many attractions and trails are still closed. One good resource to find out what's open and closed is the Ready Set Gorge website. Then, once you find out if your favorite park is open, there are things to consider when you get there.

"It's no different than being in the city as it is out in the scenic area," said Stan Hinatsu, a spokesperson with the Forest Service. "We would encourage folks to abide by those practices that are becoming normal for us."

That means social distancing, keeping it to small groups and wearing masks when you can't be 6 feet apart.

The Forest Service put together some tips you should know before you go:

  • Be prepared for large crowds and no parking
  • Clean up after yourself because there’s limited staff on duty
  • Be careful with fires
  • Bring and wear proper gear when hiking or camping
  • Make sure you stay hydrated

"I think the big message is plan and be prepared," said Hinatsu.

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