Due to worsening fire conditions and continued hot and dry weather, expanded campfire restrictions will go into effect on August 4, 2017
Under the expanded campfire restrictions, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, and use of charcoal briquette barbecues, Tiki torches, and other devices that use solid fuel is prohibited across most of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Campfires will continue to be allowed on the Naches Ranger District but only in designated hosted campgrounds, and in the Goat Rocks, Norse Peak and William O. Douglas Wilderness areas due to the difference in geography and weather patterns in these wilderness areas.
“Fire danger continues to increase, and with the very hot and dry conditions expected to persist, we are following our restriction plan and implementing campfire closures,” said Deputy Fire Staff Officer for Operations Matt Castle.
“Our high elevation forest areas are rapidly drying and all fuels are now readily available to burn, as seen in recent fires. Fortunately, so far this year, lightning has been minimal so we have not had many fires, yet. These restrictions will minimize the chance of new fire starts, be in line with our partner jurisdictions, and keep the public safe,” Castle said.
The use of pressurized liquid gas stoves is an acceptable alternative in areas where campfires are prohibited. A list of approved and non-approved fire options is posted on the forest website at https://go.usa.gov/xRPHa .
In addition to the expanded campfire restrictions, starting August 6, firewood cutting is being temporarily suspended in Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) zones 675, 678W and 684. Under these heightened restrictions, called Level III Partial Shutdown, all woodcutting is prohibited. Industrial Fire Precaution Level III does not allow any firewood cutting with a power saw for commercial or personal use. For commercial timber operators, operating at landings, chainsaw use is allowed only from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Industrial Fire Precaution Level III will remain in effect until fire danger eases.
Woodcutting restrictions will also change to Level II in zone 680 on August 6. Level II IFPL means that firewood cutters and industrial operators in the Forest are restricted to morning hours of operation only, and must shut down chainsaws and other equipment by 1 p.m. Following equipment shut down, a one-hour fire watch must be maintained.
For current Industrial Fire Precaution Level information and a map of the zones, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ifpl .
What to do if you smell smoke or see a fire:
- If a fire is burning or there is smoke present, call 9-1-1 or 1-800-826-3383 for the Central Washington Interagency Communication Center
- Report the exact location of the fire and, if known, what is burning
For additional information visit the forest web page at www.fs.usda.gov/okawenor call the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF Headquarters office at 509-664-9200. Please observe all campfire restrictions and remember that fireworks and exploding targets are never allowed on National Forests.
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