MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- MCKENZIE BRIDGE: The McKenzie River Ranger District will continue the “first come, first serve” firewood program initiated in 2012. “The first come first serve system has worked very well for us this year. To my knowledge we have not received any complaints in comparison to numerous around the lottery system,” according to McKenzie River District Ranger Terry Baker. “We will continue with thus permit system for the foreseeable future, but we will always look at ways of improving our customer service.”

The program ran for a one-year trail period. It replaced a “lottery” system that had been used for the prior six years. Firewood availability continues to vary and most of the firewood will continue to come from weather damaged trees or logging decks that consist of Douglas fir ranging from four to 15 inches in diameter.

Under the “first come, first serve” program, areas or roads will be identified by the district’s firewood coordinator as well as the number of cords of wood in the area. Permits for the area will then be placed at the McKenzie River Ranger District front desk and issued on a first come basis.

People will have to call the office at 541-822-3381 to verify the availability of permits. Firewood will not always be available, and will be issued for 30 days, with no extensions, unless the delay is caused by a natural disaster or Forest Service closure.

Individuals that identify material for firewood may contact the firewood coordinator for approval of wood outside of designated areas. The firewood coordinator will determine whether to issue a permit based on an examination of the wood, and its compliance with laws and regulations. The firewood coordinator will evaluate areas and will let the individual who identified the wood know when to pick up the permit, or why it was denied.

Under the program, households will be limited to two cords of firewood per physical address. The person whose name is on the permit will need to be at the firewood site as it is being removed and transported.