Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest adds full ban on campfires as warm, dry, windy weather parches forest.
Just in time for Labor Day weekend camping, campfire restrictions have been expanded across much of Washington.
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, comprising federal forest lands on much of the western side of the Cascade Mountains, on Friday announced a full campfire ban. That includes approved fire pits in developed campgrounds. Cooking on many camping stoves will be allowed.
“Full campfire restrictions are put into place when the risk for potential wildfires increases due to higher temperatures, winds and dry vegetation,” Tracy O’Toole, community engagement officer, said in an email.
Forest visitors are prohibited from maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, briquette fire or stove fire. Smoking is limited to within an enclosed vehicle or building. The use of a pressurized liquid gas stove, pressurized liquid gas fire, or solid fuel fire that utilizes a wick to distribute a flame are exempt from the ban.
A similar campfire ban is in effect for all of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, which extends from the Cascade crest eastward. There were no campfire bans in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as of Friday afternoon.
The state Department of Natural Resources on Thursday extended a campfire ban to DNR-protected lands in Northwest Washington, including Snohomish, Island, Skagit, San Juan and Whatcom counties. That order prohibits campfires in state parks, including popular camping parks such as Deception Pass and Moran. Similar bans are in effect in many counties in Central and Eastern Washington; click here for a map with details by county.
DNR is categorizing fire danger as “high” or “very high/extreme” for every county in Washington. King, Pierce and Snohomish counties are all rated “very high/extreme.”
Effective Friday, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest are restricting campfires to developed campgrounds and picnic areas until further notice.
There, federal land managers are instituting fire restrictions due to the long-term forecast for hot and dry weather.
“With the high fire danger and staff already committed to suppressing fires across the country, we are enacting this fire restriction to conserve our firefighting resources and to help prevent additional fires,” said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Lee Taylor.