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September 28, 2012 -  11:51 am

Fall weather is showing up in western Washington, but all of Pope Resources’ timberlands in Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason counties will remain closed to recreational activities until the rainy season kicks in.

The reason: Extreme fire hazard due to tinder dry conditions.

The closure has been in effect since Sept. 14. Unfortunately, many people haven’t gotten the message and are ignoring locked gates and posted signage about the closure.This weekend is of particular concern with good weather predicted plus expected large crowds in Port Gamble for Old Mill Days, the Forest Festival and a two-day open house for Port Gamble Weddings.

“People are tearing down the signs and blocking emergency access by parking in front of locked gates,” said Port Gamble town manager Shana Smith. “We’re hoping that people will respect the closure and stay off the trails until it rains because we simply don’t have the staff to prevent access.” 

Smith said the town’s maintenance crew is limited its mowing in and around Port Gamble because of the fire danger – an unprecedented step for the town.

The solution: About five inches of rain to soak down the dry conditions.

While fire is the biggest potential danger, parked cars in front of locked gates present an additional threat.

“If emergency vehicles had to get in, the access is blocked,” Smith said. “If you had to get in there because someone was trespassing and got hurt, you couldn’t.”

Pope Resources owns and manages nearly 71,000 acres of forestland on its Hood Canal Tree Farm in Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason counties.

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Welcome to our website! We hope that this will provide you with enough information regarding Pope Resources North Kitsap properties and the current conservation efforts that are now taking place. If you have questions or comments that can't be addressed through our website, please feel free to contact us directly. Every attempt will be made to answer your request promptly.

~ Jon Rose, President
Olympic Property Group
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