Wildfire danger prompted burn bans across the state through most of the summer.
After a long, hot summer of campfire bans in state parks, on ocean beaches, and in some national parks and national forests across Washington, this weekend you can have your campfire — but not everywhere.
Because of recent rains and cooler weather, many campfire bans were lifted by last weekend, just in time for Labor Day campouts. Other restrictions have been lifted in recent days.
Here’s a roundup of where you can have a campfire and where you can’t this weekend (as of Sept. 10):
WASHINGTON STATE PARKS: Campers at state parks in Western Washington — west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains — may have wood campfires in established fire pits and use charcoal briquettes. Propane campfire pits are also allowed.
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Note that park managers have the discretion to restrict campfires in all campgrounds based on their assessment of conditions, which may change quickly. Park managers also may require smaller fires than are normally acceptable.
A burn ban continues for all state parks in Eastern Washington, where dry conditions and wildfires are still an issue. Fires in most Eastern Washington state parks are restricted to gas or propane cookstoves only. Gas- or propane-powered campfire pits are allowed in some east-side parks on a case-by-case basis. See individual park web pages to find out which parks are allowing them. See parks.wa.gov.
OLYMPIC PENINSULA: Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest lifted all campfire restrictions as of Wednesday, Sept. 9. The restrictions included a ban on campfires outside of developed areas as well as in some campgrounds. Rainfall amounts on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula have reached 11 to 12 inches since the end of August, with amounts up to one to two inches on the northeast side, according to an Olympic National Park bulletin.
OCEAN BEACHES: The bonfire ban on Washington’s Pacific Coast beaches in the Washington State Seashore Conservation Area (SCA), which extends along most of Washington’s outer coastline, was lifted Sept. 5.
OKANOGAN-WENATCHEE NATIONAL FOREST: A campfire ban was partially lifted effective Thursday, Sept. 10. Campfires are now allowed in all federally designated wilderness areas connected with the national forest. Conditions remain dry at lower elevations so campfire restrictions remain in place in all other areas of the national forest.
Fires are prohibited in some portions of wilderness areas, however. In the Glacier Peak and Sawtooth wilderness areas campfires are prohibited year-round within a half mile of the lakeshore of Lake Chelan. In Alpine Lakes Wilderness, campfires are prohibited above 5,000 feet elevation or within a half-mile of most lakes. In the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, campfires are prohibited within a quarter-mile of Lake Sally Ann, Minotaur Lake, Theseus Lake, Heather Lake, Glasses Lake and Lake Valhalla.
MOUNT BAKER-SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST: The ban on campfires outside of developed recreation sites was lifted Sept. 3. Campfires are permitted unless otherwise posted.
Visitors are advised to build campfires in established fire pits, remove flammable materials from around the pit, construct campfires away from overhanging vegetation, keep campfires small, and make sure that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a campsite.
NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK and ROSS LAKE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA: Effective Sept. 2, a campfire ban was lifted on lands in Skagit and Whatcom counties within North Cascades National Park Service Complex. This includes all National Park Service lands and campgrounds along State Route 20, the Ross Lake area, west of Rainy Pass, and north of Park Creek Pass and Cascade Pass.
A burn ban remains in effect for Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and the area of North Cascades National Park located in Chelan County. That includes campfires or the ignition of wood, briquettes, or any fuel in fire pits, fire pans, and barbecue grills. This comprises all National Park Service lands south and east of Cascade Pass, Park Creek Pass and Rainy Pass as well as the entire Stehekin Valley. Stoves or grills solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels are allowed in all locations.
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK: Campfires are allowed in established grates in the park’s front-country campgrounds. As always, no campfires allowed in back-country wilderness.