Starting August 2, Campfires Banned in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Wenatchee--(July 31, 2018) - Continuing hot, dry weather, worsening fire danger, and scarcity of firefighting resources due to current large fires burning throughout the west have prompted forest officials to expand campfire restrictions to include the entire Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. These restrictions go into effect Thursday, August 2.
      Under the Forest-wide restriction, the use of wood and charcoal briquette campfires is banned; however, people will still be able to use pressurized liquid gas stoves, pressurized liquid gas fires, or an enclosed solid fuel fire that utilizes a wick to distribute a flame. Wood burning camp stoves sometimes used by hunters will not be allowed.               
      In addition to the dry condition of forests and rangelands, land managers also are concerned about the strain on firefighting resources in the western United States.
      "With large fires already burning on or near the forest, it is very important to also take steps to limit the threat of human-caused fires. Public cooperation has been excellent when campfire restrictions have been necessary in the past, and right now, that same cooperation is crucial,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Erick Walker.  
      "In addition to adhering to restrictions, people who use the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest can help us a great deal simply by being watchful when they are in the woods," Walker added.  The public has traditionally provided an important firefighting resource by reporting suspicious smokes, and putting out any abandoned campfires encountered.
      The campfire restrictions will be lifted once fire danger has lessened and the weather brings some much needed soaking rain.  
     In addition to the Forest-wide campfire restrictions, woodcutters need to be aware that restrictions are also in place regarding woodcutting. The lower elevation front country areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest (Zone 675) are in Industrial Fire Precaution Level III which prohibits firewood cutting. Other areas are in Industrial Fire Precaution Level II which limits the hours that woodcutting activities can occur. It is best that woodcutters hold off awhile to do their firewood cutting until weather conditions change.

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