DNR to Ban Campfires on State Lands in Southeast Region Beginning Friday
July 13, 2023
Hot, dry summer weather has dried out fuels and is forecast to continue, increasing wildfire danger and prompting the decision
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is banning all campfires on lands it manages throughout its Southeast Region starting 12:01 a.m. Friday as hot, dry summer weather has increased wildfire danger in the area.
Fire dangers have reached extreme levels in the lower Columbia Basin and are very high across much of the rest of the 17-county region. The restriction on campfires includes popular recreation destinations in the Teanaway Community Forest near Cle Elum and the Ahtanum State Forest west of Yakima.
This restriction is a critical step to reduce potential wildfire ignition sources as fire dangers continue to stay elevated. Fuels across Eastern Washington are drying out quickly, as a warming trend after Monday’s widespread thunderstorms will combine with rapidly dropping live fuel moistures. An uptick of fires in forested areas east of the Cascades indicates that we are entering the heart of fire season in the Pacific Northwest.
For people recreating throughout the region on DNR-managed lands, propane or butane camp stoves and backpacking stoves are still allowed.
DNR’s Southeast Region, headquartered in Ellensburg, manages nearly 900,000 acres of state trust and conservation lands in Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties, as well as portions of Lincoln and Skamania counties.