Winter Is Here, Forest Service Cautions Drivers On Hazards
The winter season is here, and the forest service is advising travelers to prepare for hazardous conditions on forest roads.
The heaviest use of roads in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest right now is from people looking to chop down a Christmas Tree, which is allowed in many areas.
Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario says there's a bucket list of items to have in a vehicle when traveling on forest roads.
"Stock your car with some basic winter driving equipment, like an ice scraper and a brush, a small shovel, jumper cables, a tow chain, road flare, and a bag of sand or kitty litter, which will help for tire traction," DeMario said.
DeMario says it's also important to know that cell phone service is not available in many parts of the forest.
In addition, she says it's important to not rely on GPS, which will often direct drivers onto forest roads with the deepest snow.
"During the winter we don't plow forest roads, so the GPS may be directing you to a route or road that isn't plowed, and you'll become stuck," said DeMario.
The forest service is advising drivers to check on the status of roads before driving on them.
The National Weather Service is forecasting more than a foot-and-a-half of snow will fall on Stevens Pass between Friday and Sunday.
Anybody planning to travel very far up forest roads in search of a Christmas tree or to go hiking is being asked to check with a local Ranger Station for the best driving routes.
- Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest Ranger District Offices
- Chelan Ranger District
- 428 W. Woodin Avenue
- Chelan, WA 98816
- (509) 682-4900
- Cle Elum Ranger District
- 803 W. 2nd Street
- Cle Elum, WA 98922
- (509) 852-1100
- Entiat Ranger District
- 2108 Entiat Way
- Entiat, WA 98822
- (509) 784-4700
- Methow Valley Ranger District
- 24 West Chewuch Road
- Winthrop, WA 98862
- (509) 996-4000