Campfire Restrictions Change For The Wenatchee River Ranger District
Hot, dry weather and increased potential for fire have prompted forest officials to implement campfire restrictions in lower elevation portions of the Wenatchee River Ranger District, part of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
To help protect communities and natural resources from potential wildfire, Phase 2 campfire restrictions go into effect for the lower portion of the Wenatchee River Ranger District, effective Friday, July 13, 2012.
A campfire restriction means that wood and charcoal fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds with fire rings, some classified Wilderness areas and specially designated sites. Pressurized liquid gas stoves are still allowed. Briquette fires are not allowed in the restricted area.
The campfire restrictions do not include developed campgrounds on the Wenatchee River Ranger District.
“A cool and wet spring delayed our local fire season, but summer is here with extremely hot and dry conditions that have cured fine fuels in our area,” said Michelle Ellis, Fire Management Division Chief for Wenatchee River. “We try to avoid implementing campfire restrictions in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest until absolutely necessary.”
Special areas where fires are allowed outside developed campgrounds include:
o Summer Homes with metal fire rings and organizational sites operating under special-use permits.
o National forest land in the northern portion of the Wenatchee River RD (Lake Wenatchee area).
o Most Wilderness areas, except within 2 miles of Lake Chelan within the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth and Glacier Peak Wilderness.
Campfire restrictions will remain in effect until there is significant moisture to lower the fire danger. Ellis added, “Unfortunately, escaped campfires are the leading human cause of wildfires on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.” Campfires become problems when campers fail to properly extinguish all flame sources before leaving their campsite.
Ellis noted that, “Even where permitted people should completely extinguish a campfire anytime you are away from your campsite, be sure to use an established campfire ring, clear vegetation away from any flame sources, and do not build a fire close to trees, stumps or roots and keep a shovel and bucket of water close by too. “
Wenatchee River Ranger District at 509.548.2550. The Leavenworth office is open Monday-Saturday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.