Not that temperatures are expected at or above 100 degrees this week and the forest fuels are tinder dry, new campfire restrictions are now in effect on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The USFS has announced effective immediately, campfires are allowed only in designated, developed recreation sites and some designated Wilderness areas on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Recent warm weather is forecast to continue and is quickly drying out forest fuels and increasing fire danger. Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have been implemented to reduce the risk of escaped campfires and other human caused fires.

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The following is PROHIBITED under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (including fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside of a designated campground or recreation site with established Forest Service fire rings or grills.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System Roads and Trails, except minimum travel over bare mineral soil, to access dispersed camping.
  • Violating any state law concerning burning, fires, or which is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire.
  • Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest system land.

The following activities and uses are still ALLOWED on the Forest during Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:

  • Campfires contained inside established fire rings grills at designated recreation sites.
  • Campfires in designated Wilderness areas, except locations where they are never allowed.
  • Pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices when used in areas that are clear of all overhead and surrounding flammable material within 3 feet of the device. Device must have a functioning on-off switch or valve that can extinguish the fire immediately.
  • Recreational shooting, where otherwise allowed by law.

There are some exceptions allowed for group camps and summer homes operated under permit that are exempt from the order.

For more complete details on what permitted or restrictions, including a list of designated recreation sites, visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/okawen/campfires

Counties with the worst droughts in Washington

Washington State is continuing its drought emergency into 2024, citing low snowpack and hot, dry forecasts. Here are the counties most affected by drought, based on data from the U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Washington with the worst droughts in the week leading up to April 30, 2024.
Note: "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought, but is included as a separate data point.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

 

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