Forest Service relaxes campfire ban

Campfire

WENATCHEE - The U.S. Forest Service has started relaxing its campfire ban in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

As of Monday, Sept. 17, forest users could have campfires in designated recreation sites, such as campgrounds, and most wilderness areas. Fire danger remains very high in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima counties and high in Okanogan County.

“We’ve received enough moisture to allow campfires in some areas, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Erick Walker. “Stage 1 restrictions will remain in effect until significant moisture arrives.”

Implementation of fire restrictions usually is based on a combination of carefully considered factors including current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources, said forest officials.

Under stage I fire restrictions, activities prohibited across the forest include:

-Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fires, including briquette fires and torches, except in Forest Service-designated recreation sites (mostly fee campgrounds with campfire structures such as metal rings).

-Using an explosive (always in effect).

-Possessing, discharging or using any fireworks (always in effect).

A list of designated recreation sites and approved devices is at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/fire-restrictions.

Industrial fire precaution level restrictions remain in effect.

A county-wide burn ban remains in effect in Okanogan County.

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