Campfire Bans Instituted in Washington State

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August 9, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Until further notice, don't light up a campfire in south central Washington state.

The extremely dry, hot weather means campfires are not allowed in campgrounds in the Cle Elum and Naches ranger districts in Kittitas and Yakima counties, my reported. The areas of concern are generally located between the Columbia River basin and Mount Rainier National Park

The only exception is for areas within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, typically at higher elevations.

The past few weeks as the temperatures have risen, grass and brush have dried out and increased the fire danger dramatically.

Campgrounds and approved fire rings have typically been exempt from campfire bans, but forest managers have decided that can be too confusing.

The conditions have been drier than normal this year and park rangers have found that fires lit in campgrounds are still burning long after the tenting residents have moved on.

"No wood or charcoal fires are going to be permitted in the district," explained Nancy Jones with the U.S. Forest Service.

The ban remains in effect until significant rainfall or humidity returns to the area.

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