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Fire danger rating now "high" in Ferry County

— The fire danger rating for Ferry and parts of Stevens counties was raised to “high” Tuesday.

The state Department of Natural Resources raised the fire level from moderate to high, and also announced campfires are prohibited in its campground at Leader Lake west of Okanogan off state Highway 20.

The fire danger rating remains “high” in Okanogan, northern Lincoln and Spokane counties and fire district Nos. 1 and 2 in Stevens County. Pend Oreille County’s fire danger will stay at “moderate.”

Hot, dry conditions prompted the changes.

The state also issued a statewide burn ban on all Natural Resources-protected lands. The ban will remain in place through Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest will expand its previous campfire restrictions in Chelan and Okanogan counties as of Wednesday.

All campfires will be prohibited outside of developed campgrounds in the two counties, with few exceptions. The restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

The order includes areas within the Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee River, Methow Valley and Tonasket ranger districts.

The ban includes all fires, campfires, stove fires and briquette fires. Designated developed campgrounds with approved metal fire rings are except, as are some special sites but the Forest Service recommends contacting ranger stations for more information.

Designated wilderness areas also are exempt, but some already have standing campfire restrictions.

Pressurized liquid gas stoves and enclosed solid fuel fires using a wick also are exempt.

A number of wildfires are burning in North-Central Washington, including the Entiat Valley in Chelan County, 25 Mile Creek along Lake Chelan and Texas Creek/Stokes Road in the Methow Valley.

Firefighters from Okanogan and Omak (Fire District No. 3) were called to the Texas Creek area again Tuesday afternoon. They and other departments were called to assist Methow Valley and state Department of Natural Resources firefighters Monday when the fire broke out.

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