Fire Restrictions

CURRENT FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Fire Danger Moderate sign

Effective October 5, 2018 —
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have been lifted.

Campfires are now allowed in all areas of the National Forest that are normally open to campfires.  There are still campfire restrictions that are always in effect in Wilderness Areas. See Wilderness Campfire Restrictions below.



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 in effect, the restrictions below are in effect for the entire Forest, except in designated Wilderness areas and the recreation sites noted in links below.

[ en Español ]

Stage 1 fire restriction poster image

What is Prohibited in Stage 1:

Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including briquette fires, and torches. [36 CFR § 261.52 (a)] 

The following exceptions are permitted:

  • 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.
  • Campfires are permitted when contained within provided metal rings at the developed recreations sites listed
  • Campfires are allowed in designated Wilderness areas, except those locations where they are never allowed. See links below for list of sites where campfires are allowed on each Ranger District.

The use of explosives including exploding targets, incendiary ammunition, and possession and use of fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest lands in Washington.

Spark arrestors are required on all internal combustion engines at all times.

Closure Order and List of Sites where campfires are allowed

Designated Recreation Sites where campfires are allowed:

What is Allowed:

  • Campfires in designated recreation sites (see links above)
  • 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. 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.
  • Chainsaw use IS allowed. However, please use caution and keep from creating sparks by not cutting directly on the ground where the chain can contact rocks while rotating.

 

 

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

No campfires graphicWhen in effect, Stage 2 restrictions are for the entire Forest, including campgrounds and Wilderness areas.

[ en Español ]

What is Prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including briquette fires, and torches. 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.
  • Stage 2 fire restriction poster image Operating an internal combustion engine-powered device, including chainsaws,  Except persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing use. Motor vehicles, with appropriate spark arresting devices, operated on National Forest System roads and motorized trails or parked in areas devoid of vegetation are exempted, as are generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle, building, or area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Discharging firearms (except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal or tribal laws and regulations).
  • Using an explosive. Explosives are always prohibited.
  • Possessing, discharging, or using any type of fireworks. Fireworks are always prohibited.

This prohibition applies to all National Forest System Lands within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Note: The use of explosives including exploding targets, incendiary ammunition, and possession and use of fireworks are prohibited year-round on National Forest land in Oregon and Washington.Spark arrestors are required on all internal combustion engines at all times.

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.

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 iconWhen 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

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.

Campfire Safety

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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