No fireworks on National Forests

 

Wenatchee - As the Fourth of July approaches, fire officials want to remind forest visitors that fireworks are illegal in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 

 

 “The use of fireworks on national forest lands is a major concern to us,” said Keith Satterfield, fire staff officer for the forest.  “Fireworks or any other pyrotechnic devices of any kind are illegal year round on all national forests.”

 

Satterfield said there are monetary penalties for fireworks possession on the national forest. Violators can be subject to a citation and fine with a maximum penalty of $5,000 or up to six months in jail. Additionally, anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for suppression costs. Those costs can be substantial, often running into hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

 

 Although no campfire restrictions are currently in effect on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, fire officials are concerned about campfire use on the National Forest. Campers must ensure their campfire is completely out and cold to the touch before leaving campsites. 

 

Remember if you are going to have a campfire:

 

·         Use an existing fire ring or construct a fire ring out of rocks.

 

·         Clear all vegetation away from the ring and don’t build a campfire underneath low hanging tree branches.

 

·         Keep water and a shovel nearby.

 

When putting out your campfire:

 

·         Drown it with water.

 

·         Stir the embers after they are covered with water and make sure everything is wet.

 

·         Feel the coals and embers with your hands.  They should be cool to the touch.

 

·         When you think you are done, take an extra minute and add more water.

 

“We want people to enjoy the holiday but we also want them to leave their fireworks at home,” Satterfield said. Forest visitors are encouraged to enjoy local fireworks displays instead.

 

Go to http://go.usa.gov/bFWh to view a short video on how to build and put out a campfire.

 

Get the latest forest news and alerts by texting ‘follow OkaWenNF’ to 40404, ‘liking’ us on Facebook or following us on Twitter @OkaWenNF. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

 

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers