Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest lifts campfire ban

Campers enjoy gathering around a warm campfire. Courtesy USDA Forest Service
WENATCHEE - Campfire restrictions have been lifted on national forest lands in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima and Okanogan Counties. This means that forest visitors can once again enjoy campfires in all locations where campfires are normally allowed on the Methow Valley, Tonasket, Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee River, Cle Elum, and Naches Ranger Districts.
 Normal year-round restrictions remain in effect prohibiting campfires within a half mile of some Wilderness Area lakes. Campfires are not permitted in some higher elevation locations within the Wilderness. Please call individual ranger stations for specific information about these locations.
 “Shorter daylight hours, cooler temperatures and some precipitation in the Cascades prompted us to permit campfires again. Even though restrictions have been lessened, there is still a risk for wildland fires,” said Acting Forest Fire Management Officer Mike Davis.
 “As we begin to receive these fall storms, there is often a sense that the fire danger has passed. However, as the warmer and drier temperatures return next week, it won’t take long for the lighter fuels to dry out. The heavier fuels won’t see good moisture recovery until we get significantly more precipitation, so we could still see increased fire activity. Please continue to be cautious,” said Davis.
Forest visitors should use an established fire pit or campfire ring in campgrounds, clear flammable materials from around the pit, keep the fire small. Do not leave campfires unattended and make sure it is dead out and cold to the touch before leaving.
 Remember, fire danger remains high and every precaution should be taken to insure a campfire does not become a wildfire. If you find an unattended fire or spot smoke, call 911.
 Beginning Saturday morning September 26, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) for zone 678W  dropped to a 1. For additional IFPL information see the Washington State Department of Natural Resources page: https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/ifpl/.
 For more information, please see the forest web page or contact individual ranger district offices:
Methow Valley Ranger District, 509-996-4000
Tonasket Ranger District, 509-486-2186
Chelan Ranger District, 509-682-4900
Entiat Ranger District, 509-784-4700
Wenatchee River Ranger District, 509-548-2550
Cle Elum Ranger District, 509-852-1100
Naches Ranger District, 509-653-1401

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