COLVILLE - Free personal-use firewood authorizations are available from the Colville National Forest.

Self-service stations are set up during business hours in an area accessible to the public, typically outside the visitor entrance door, to allow U.S. Forest Service staff to practice social distancing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authorization allows removal of up to 12 cords of firewood per household and is valid from until March 31, 2021. Authorization obtained at a Forest Service office will not look exactly like permits obtained from partnering retailers, but both will be valid for the 2020-2021 season, said a forest announcement.

Retailers (if open for public service) will also continue to provide free firewood permits; people should call in advance to make sure permits are on hand, forest officials said.

Participating retailers are Harding’s Hardware, Republic; North 40 Outfitters in Colville, Mead and Spokane, Selkirk Ace Hardware, Oldtown, Idaho.

More information is at the forest website.

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