Caution Urge Ahead of Busy Holiday Weekend From Forest Managers

Frequent, heavy rainfall across the state the last two weeks means that much of Arkansas and Oklahoma could continue to see impacts through Labor Day weekend.

The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are popular vacation destinations for celebrating the end of summer, but soil saturation, flooding, and overhead hazards in recreation areas and along Forest roads could impact visitors’ travel plans this weekend. Considering public safety, forest managers have closed many recreation areas along swollen rivers and creeks, areas impacted by wind damage, and roads that have become unstable, washed out, or dangerous.  Forest staff will continue to assess the dynamic situation and open up any closures when it is safe to do so.

Know before you go! Check social media and Forest websites for updates and closure information, share your travel plans with a family member or friend, know the weather forecast for the areas you’re going to be visiting, and always have enough food and water for several days. Never cross a swollen creek or drive through water flowing across a road. Remember, turn around, don’t drown. In recreation areas and in the general forest area, watch for overhead and slipping/tripping hazards and know your closest evacuation routes.

Contact your local Forest Service office for more information on closures and conditions, and visit us on the web and on Facebook:

·         Ouachita National Forest—; follow us on Facebook @ouachitanf

·         Ozark-St. Francis National Forests—; follow us on Facebook @ozarkstfrancis