Campfire Restrictions

See below for current restrictions. Contact ranger districts directly for more information, and please observe all burning and campfire restrictions.
  • Current Restrictions - Learn what campfire restrictions are currently in place
  • Wilderness Restrictions - These wilderness fire restrictions are always in effect
  • Approved and Non-Approved Fire- A guide to use when campfires are restricted due to high fire danger.
  • Campfire Safety Information - Each year escaped campfires are the leading human cause of wildfires on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Learn how to put out a campfire effectively and more.
  • Fines - Learn about fines imposed for escaped campfires, fireworks and having a campfire in a closed area.

Current Campfire Restrictions

July 1, 2015

Continuing hot, dry weather conditions and increasing fire danger have prompted the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to implement expanded restrictions on the use of campfires on national forest lands in Chelan and Kittitas Counties.

Beginning on July 2, no campfires will be allowed in the Cle Elum, Wenatchee River, Entiat, and Chelan Ranger Districts.

“We are implementing a complete ban on campfires on national forest lands in Kittitas and Chelan counties,” said Forest Supervisor Mike Williams. “The explosive growth of recent wildfires in Wenatchee and near Mansfield is an indication of how dry conditions are. We ask all national forest users to comply with the new campfire restrictions.”

National forest visitors recreating in the Naches Ranger District may continue to have campfires only in federally designated wilderness areas. For those recreating on National Forest lands in Okanogan County, campfires are allowed only in designated campgrounds, wilderness areas and specially designated recreation residence or special use sites.

Initial campfire restrictions on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF were implemented June 12. They were expanded on June 17 and again on June 23.

“We will implement additional campfire restrictions as needed as fire danger increases in areas of the national forest where campfires are currently permitted,” Williams said.

Forest visitors should always check to see what restrictions are in place before traveling to the national forest. Contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee NF office for up-to-date campfire restriction information

Effective June 26, 2015 through July 1  Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or briquette fire is prohibited, except at most designated campgrounds, approved sites and in certain Wilderness areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest located within Okanogan, Chelan, and Kittitas Counties – the Methow Valley, Tonasket, Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee River and Cle Elum Ranger Districts.

In Yakima County, campfires are banned in all areas of the Naches Ranger District, including all campgrounds. Campfires are only allowed in the Goat Rocks, Norse Peak and William O. Douglas Wilderness areas.

A campfire restriction means that wood and charcoal fires are allowed only in designated campgrounds with fire rings, some classified Wilderness areas and specially designated sites. Pressurized liquid gas stoves are still allowed. Briquette fires are not allowed in the restricted areas. 

Campfires are still being allowed in most Wilderness areas because those lands are generally at higher elevations where temperatures are more moderate and moisture retention is greater. 

Campfires are not allowed in all portions of wilderness areas though. In the Glacier Peak and Sawtooth Wilderness areas no campfires are allowed within a half mile of the lakeshore of Lake Chelan. In the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, campfires are not permitted above 5,000 feet elevation or within a half mile of most lakes. In the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, campfires are not allowed within a quarter mile of Lake Sally Ann, Minotaur Lake, Theseus Lake, Heather Lake, Glasses Lake and Lake Valhalla.
 

Chelan County Campfire Restriction Order

Kittitas County Campfire Restriction Order

Okanogan County Campfire Restriction Order

Yakima County Campfire Restriction Order

 


Wilderness area restrictions that are always in place are noted below. 

The following Wilderness restrictions for campfires are always in place

Campfires are NOT allowed:

  • Above 5,000 feet elevation in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the Wenatchee National Forest
  • Within ½ mile of the following lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area on Wenatchee River Ranger District: Hope Lake, Josephine Lake, Leland Lake, Little Eightmile Lake, Mig Lake, Nada Lake, Swimming Deer Lake, Square Lake, Trout Lake, Wolverine Lake, Upper and Lower Grace Lakes, Lake Donald, Loch Eileen, Lake Ethel, Lake Julius, Lake Susan Jane. 
  • Within ½ mile of the following lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area on the Cle Elum Ranger District: Rachel Lake, Upper Park Lake (essentially the whole basin), Glacier Lake, Spectacle Lake, Ivanhoe Lake, Shovel Lake, Lake Rebecca/Rowena, Deep Lake
  • Within ¼ mile of the following lakes in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness area: Sally Ann, Minotaur, Theseus, Heather, Glasses, and Valhalla.

Approved and Non-approved Fire

The following is a guide to use when campfires are restricted due to high fire danger.

Approved Fires

  • Liquid gas stoves or fires.  These include:
    • Propane gas camp stoves used for campground or backcountry use.
    • Propane gas catalytic heaters.
    • White gas camp stoves with a pump which distribute pressurized gas.
    • Butane or other pressurized gas canister devices attached to camp stoves.
    • Propane or white gas lanterns that distribute gas under pressure.
  • Solid fuel citronella candles in a metal bucket.
  • Solid fuel candles in a metal or glass container.
  • Propane barbeque devices that do not utilize solid briquettes for the heat source.
  • Stove or fireplace fires completely contained within a summer home or residence.
  • Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices with a shield and base.

Non-approved Fires

  • Campfires that utilize wood, pressed logs, wood pellets, paper, cardboard, or other solid fuels.
  • Campfires utilizing solid fuel that do not distribute the flame with a wick.
  • Briquette fires.
  • Unapproved fires on a summer home or residence porch or in an uncontained structure.
  • Unapproved fires in a tent, open garage or carport, fenced area, shelter, porch or other nonstructural surrounding.
  • “Tikki torches” which utilize liquid fuel.
  • Alcohol ultralight stoves (these tend to be homemade from aluminum or tin cans and burn rubbing alcohol)
  • Wood “twig” ultralight stoves 
  • Campfires, lanterns, or stoves that use non-pressurized liquid gas or fuel.
  • Liquid fuel citronella lanterns or candles.
  • Solid fuel candles which are not contained within a metal container or glass container.
  • Liquid fuel stove or lantern fires which utilize a wick to distribute the flame.
  • Solid fuel fireworks of any kind.
  • Wood, solid fuel or non-pressurized gas campfires contained by a rock barrier.
  • Wood, solid fuel or non-pressurized gas campfires contained in an open camp stove, container, or barrel.
  • Wood, solid fuel or non-pressurized gas campfires contained in a closed camp stove, not in a fully contained residence or summer home.

Campfire Safety

Each year escaped campfires are the leading human cause of wildfires on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest!

Campfires usually become problems when campers fail to properly extinguish them before leaving the forest, Scopa noted. The wind comes up and blows sparks into surrounding grass or fallen tree needles, and that can result in hundreds of acres of burned forest. In areas where campfires are still allowed, fire safe practices are essential for preventing wildfire.

"Campfires should be built in already established fire rings and well away from tree roots, stumps, or overhanging branches. The fire should be tended at all times and put out completely before breaking camp," Scopa cautioned. To completely extinguish a campfire, it must be stirred with adequate amounts of dirt and water until it is cold to the touch of a bare hand.

"It is very important there be no warmth left in the campfire," Scopa emphasized. The use of self-contained pressurized liquid fuel stoves is allowed in areas where campfires are prohibited; however, this does not include "sheepherders" stoves, which are not allowed. Also, 'tiki torches' that some people use for insect repellent are prohibited.

Fire management officials for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest try to avoid placing restrictions on public use of the national forests until absolutely necessary, Scopa noted. "The public has always been very understanding and cooperative when campfire restrictions have been necessary in the past. They often ask about campfire closures before they are implemented, because they can see how dry it's getting in the low country," Scopa said. Forest users have also helped by reporting suspicious smokes and putting out abandoned campfires they discover.

For more information and to find out which areas and campgrounds are open to campfires, contact the Ranger District you plan to visit.

Please remember that no fireworks are allowed in the National Forests.

FINES for escaped campfires, fireworks and having a campfire in a closed area

  • Each year escaped campfires are the leading human cause of wildfires on the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. Do not ignore the campfire restrictions! Please report any unattended campfires.
  • If a fire results from your escaped campfire or the illegal use of fireworks you can be subject to a citation and a fine from $100 up to $5,000 and/or 1 year in jail.
  • This violation doesn’t just apply if your fire escapes, but also if you “build, maintain, attend or use” a campfire in an area where campfires are not allowed (areas closed to campfire use). You can also be held responsible for fire suppression costs. Suppression efforts are very costly, often running into hundreds of thousands of dollars and more.
  • Please take note--If we see someone with an illegal campfire they will receive a ticket.

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