Campfire restrictions now in effect on the National Forest

WENATCHEE -  Campfire restrictions are now in effect on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Campfires will be allowed only in designated developed campgrounds and congressionally designated Wilderness Areas (except in those wilderness areas where campfires are never allowed). In all other areas, including dispersed camping areas, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including a fire made from briquettes, will be prohibited. These restrictions are the result of increasing fire danger in the national forest.
 “With the current heatwave drying out forest fuels, it is prudent to put these campfire restrictions into effect now,” said Forest Supervisor Kristin Bail. “This first phase of campfire restrictions will help to reduce the potential of escaped campfires by restricting campfires and stove fire use across the forest.”
 Forest visitors are reminded that fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices, including exploding targets, are illegal year-round in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “Any spark, whether it be from a dragging tow chain, a cigarette, an exploding target, or a firework has the potential to cause a wildfire right now,” Bail said.
 Most designated or developed campgrounds are exempt from this order, as are some other special sites such as group camps and summer homes under permit. Please visit or call the appropriate ranger station to obtain information on specific campground restrictions. Information is also available on the forest website at
 Campfires will be allowed within most parts of the Glacier Peak, Chelan-Sawtooth, Alpine Lakes, Henry M. Jackson, Goat Rocks, Norse Peak, and William O. Douglas Wilderness Areas. However, some locations within those listed Wilderness Areas, especially the Alpine Lakes and Henry M. Jackson Wildernesses, have standing year-round campfire restrictions.
 If planning to have a campfire:
•       Make sure campfires are allowed in the area camping will occur. Check the forest website for information on where campfires are permitted now that restrictions are in effect.
•       In developed campgrounds, use an existing fire ring. In wilderness areas where campfires are still allowed, construct a fire ring out of rocks or use a camp stove instead.
•       Clear all vegetation within 3 feet from the fire ring and don’t build a campfire underneath low hanging tree branches.
•       Keep water and a shovel nearby.
When extinguishing a campfire:
•       Drown it with water.
•       Stir the embers to ensure everything is wet.
•       Repeat use of water and stirring until no heat is present.
•       Feel the coals and embers, they should be cool to the touch. If it‘s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
 When done, take an extra minute and add more water. Go here for additional campfire safety tips.
 Persons may continue to use pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices, provided such devices are used in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable material within three feet of the device and meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.
 Escaped campfires are the leading cause of human-caused wildland fires on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Campfires typically become problems when campers fail to completely extinguish them before leaving campsites.
 In addition to campfire restrictions, woodcutters need to be aware that Level II Industrial Fire Precaution Level is in effect for woodcutting zones 675, 684, and 609E. This means that woodcutting is allowed only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. in these zones. Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map at .
 Contact these Okanogan-Wenatchee NF offices for more information--Methow Valley Ranger District 509-996-4000; Chelan Ranger Station, 509-682-4900; Entiat Ranger Station, 509-784-4700; Wenatchee River Ranger Station, 509-548-2550; Cle Elum Ranger Station 509-852-1100; and Naches Ranger Station, 509-653-1401.

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