About Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien is a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Stories by Shannon O'Brien

Forest closures to remain in place

OKANOGAN – Hazards left in the wake of this summer’s fires necessitate keeping some of the area and road closures in place until next spring on National Forest Lands in Okanogan County. Fire weakened trees, hidden stump holes, loosened boulders and the potential for debris flows are all safety concerns on National Forest Lands burned by the Tunk, North Star, and Okanogan Complex Fire

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Update: North Star and Tunk Block Fire – Sept. 2, 2015

Yesterday’s Activities: The continuation of cooler, wetter weather allowed crews to take advantage of opportunities to build line closer to the fires edge where it was safe and effective to do so. Cooler temperatures across the fires, combined with relative humidity values of 40-50 percent subdued fire behavior. Fire continues to smolder and creep in forest debris such as needles, small twigs and branches.

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Latest Fire Update (07-25-15): Wildhorse, Spur and Newby Lake Fires

TONASKET- Wildhorse and Spur Fires are all that remain from the 16 fires reported after last Sunday’s lightning storm. The remaining fires have been called out. Wildhorse Fire, west of Summit Lake on Mt. Hull, is 162 acres and the Spur Fire, near Bonaparte Lake, is three acres.

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Forest Service to host workshop for summer job applicants

TONASKET – The Tonasket Ranger District is hosting a workshop to assist those interested in obtaining summer employment with the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest. The workshop will be Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Okanogan PUD building in Okanogan. Staff will be on hand to explain the hiring process to interested applicants.

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New office hours at Tonasket Ranger District

TONASKET – Beginning Monday, Dec. 1, the business hours for Tonasket Ranger District will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a 30-minute closure for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

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Open House on proposed Bonaparte project

TONASKET – Tonasket Ranger District will host an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 to discuss a proposal in the Bonaparte Mountain area and meet the new District Ranger.

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Sun Mountain Fire burning near Winthrop

WINTHROP – Hotshot crews from La Grande, Ore. and Entiat, Wash. arrived in the Methow Valley Saturday to catch helicopter flights in to work on the Sun Mountain Fire. The fire is still estimated at about 35 acres and is burning in the steep terrain of the Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness; in the south fork of War Creek drainage, southwest of Winthrop.

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Seasonal road closures extended on ranger district

TONASKET – In a typical year, many of the winter closures on U.S. Forest Service roads in Okanogan County are lifted at the beginning of April. With this year’s snowpack, some higher elevation closures will need to remain in place for a while longer.

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Funding helps Okanogan Valley students study Tripod Fire effects

TONASKET – The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that it had awarded more than $122,300 to four Pacific Northwest national forests to support conservation education programs, including almost $11,000 for high school students in low-income areas of the Okanogan Valley studying the effects of the 2006 Tripod Fire.

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Mark Morris, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Ranger for the Tonasket District since 2000, retires this week after a career spanning four decades with the U.S. Forest Service.Forest Ranger Mark Morris retires from 40-year career. USFS photo

Forest Ranger Mark Morris retires from 40-year career

TONASKET – Mark Morris, wraps-up a career of more than 40 years with the U.S. Forest Service this week, including the last decade as Tonasket’s District Ranger. He said his new to-do list is pretty long and includes spending more time on horseback in the Pasayten Wilderness.

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