Fire Restrictions

CURRENT FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Campfires are currently allowed in all areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that are normally open to campfires. There are campfire restrictions that are always in effect in Wilderness Areas.

Campfire in the forest OCTOBER 27, 2022

See Wilderness Fire Restrictions for areas where campfires are never allowed.


Fire Restrictions come in different stages and become more prohibitive with each stage. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest begins by implementing a Stage 1 Restriction and if conditions worsen, Stage 2 is implemented. There is no "Stage 3" when conditions worsen further. Instead, a forest closure is usually the next step which means the public is not allowed to enter the boundaries of the national forest due to the danger.


Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

When Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect for the entire Forest, see restrictions below, except in Wilderness areas and the recreation sites and wilderness locations noted in Exhibits A and B below.

[ en Español ]

What is Prohibited in Stage 1:

Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, including a charcoal, and other open flames, except within campfire rings established by the Forest Service at the following posted, developed and designated campgrounds, or other Organizational Camps, Recreation Residences, and Resorts under Special Use Permits shown on Exhibit A.

However, pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are permitted, provided such devices are used in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable material within 3 feet of the device and meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety. 

Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated campground, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

Using an explosive.

Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System Roads and Trails, except minimum travel over bare mineral soil, to access dispersed camping.

Violating any state law concerning burning, fires, or which is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire.

Stage 1 fire restriction poster

 

Stage 1 fire restrictions poster spanish


Stage 1 Fire Restriction Order

  • Exhibit A -- Designated Campgrounds, Special Areas, and Recreation Residences where Campfires are Allowed in Established Fire Rings
  • Exhibit B -- Wilderness Area Fire Restrictions

What is Allowed:

  • Campfires in designated recreation sites (see Exhibit A )
  • Campfires in designated Wilderness Areas, except specific locations where they are never allowed. See Wilderness Fire Restrictions always in Effect
  • Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices providing such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specification for safety. See Approved and Non-Approved Fire list
  • Shooting firearms IS allowed. Just make sure to follow normal federal rules: No shooting within a 150 yards of a campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, residence or building. The use of explosives including exploding targets and incendiary ammunition is always prohibited. No shooting across a road, trail or body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge. No shooting in a cave.

The Following are Always Prohibited even when there are no fire restrictions in effect:

Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

The use of explosives including exploding targets and incendiary ammunition.

Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine in violation of Industrial Fire Precaution directives (IFPL). State law prohibits operation of chainsaws or industrial equipment outside of IFPL requirements

 

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

No campfires sign graphicWhen Stage 2 Restrictions are in effect for the Forest, including Campgrounds and Wilderness areas, see following fire restrictions.

FIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
[ en Español ]

Stage 2 Fire Restriction Order

What is Prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including briquette fires, torches or other open flame from solid fuel. Pressurized or bottled liquid fuel stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are permitted, provided such devices are used in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable material within 3 feet of the device. See Approved and Non-Approved Fire list
  • Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Using an explosive. Explosives are always prohibited.
  • Possessing, discharging, or using any type of fireworks. Fireworks are always prohibited.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System Roads and Trails
  • Discharging a firearm, except lawful hunting is permissible. Persons possessing a valid hunting license who are legally attempting to take game are exempt from this section of the prohibition. [added to restrictions August 20, 2021]
  • Violating any state law concerning burning, fires, or which is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire.

small image of stage 2 restriction poster


Stage 2 fire restrictions small spanish poster image


The following are ALWAYS Prohibited on National Forest land even when there are no fire restrictions in effect:

Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

The use of explosives including exploding targets and incendiary ammunition.

Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine in violation of Industrial Fire Precaution directives (IFPL).


Campfire is defined as a fire, not within any building, mobile home, or living accommodation mounted on a motor vehicle, which is used for cooking, personal warmth, lighting, ceremonial, or esthetic purposes.

[ en Español ]


What is Allowed:

‚ÄčLiquid petroleum or LPG fueled stoves, grills, lanterns, or heating devices as long as you have:

  • Cleared flammable material at least 3 feet around it.
  • It is placed in an area that has no overhead flammable materials.
  • All it is doing is producing flame and can immediately be turned off and there is no element continuing to burn after it has been turned off.
  • See Approved and Non-Approved Fire list

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Some important points as to why we implement fire restrictions

  • The number one reason is to protect human life, property and our natural resources. The smallest spark can turn our dry forest into a dangerous wildfire that can threaten lives and property.
  • We use certain criteria to determine what stage of fire restrictions to implement, which includes current and predicted weather, how many resources we have available to fight fires, fuel moisture in the forest, fire behavior and containment challenges, as well as several others. 
  • Regardless of what level of fire restrictions we implement, not all fires can be prevented. Fires start from careless forest users, lightning, and inadvertent human-causes.We live in a fire-adapted ecosystem which depends on fire for its health, so it's never a question of if a wildfire will start, but when and how we will be able to respond to it.

 

Contact one of our offices for more information.

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Wilderness Area Campfire Restrictions that are Always in Effect

No campfires iconThere are campfire restrictions that are always in effect in Wilderness Areas. See Wilderness Campfire Restrictions below.

When there are no fire restrictions, and during Stage 1 Restrictions, there are still areas where campfires are never allowed. See below.

Campfires are NOT allowed:

  • Above 5,000 feet elevation in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. [Campfires are prohibited above 4,000 feet on the west side of the Cascade crest in Alpine Lakes Wilderness on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie 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.
  • Within ½ mile of the following lakes in the Glacier Peak Wilderness area on the Entiat Ranger District: Ice Lakes
  • Within ¼ mile of the following lakes in the William O. Douglas Wilderness: Dewey Lake and Goat Lake
  • Within these areas of Goat Rocks Wilderness: Shoe Lake Basin and Snowgrass Flats

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 liquid fuel 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.

Fire Prevention and Safety Tips While Visiting Public Lands

Each year escaped campfires are the leading human cause of wildfires on the Forest.

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 Forest. 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.
  • Fireworks are always illegal on the Forest.

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