Olympic National Forest, Olympic National Park announce campfire ban

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 7/22/21

A ban on campfires will start at midnight  Friday, July 23, officials with Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest announced Thursday.

The ban is complete, and also includes fires …

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Olympic National Forest, Olympic National Park announce campfire ban

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A ban on campfires will start at midnight  Friday, July 23, officials with Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest announced Thursday.

The ban is complete, and also includes fires using charcoal.

The prohibition area includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.

“All of western Washington, including the Peninsula, is extremely dry this year,” said Todd Rankin, fire management officer for Olympic Interagency Fire Management. 

“By following these restrictions, visitors can help reduce the chance of unintentional fires, especially when firefighting resources are stretched thin with an already very active fire season across the West," Rankin said. 

Gas or propane camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry and campgrounds, but officials said they should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Extreme caution is also urged with any open flame.

The move coincides with the elevation of the fire danger from "moderate" to "high" for Jefferson, Clallam, and Grays Harbor counties. 

Stage 2 fire restrictions are needed in Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest due to the extremely dry conditions that are forecasted to continue, officials said.

The restricts must also fit with state and county campfire restrictions; the demand on firefighting resources being used to battle numerous wildfires around the nation; and the strain any new uncontrolled fires would place on such resources.

Officials said the majority of firefighting resources are already deployed due to the large amount of wildland fire activity throughout the country.

Prior to the recent heatwave, precipitation levels were already below average this year. That's elevated the wildfire risk across the western side of Washington state. 

Officials noted the recent record-breaking temperatures across the Pacific Northwest have resulted in more rapid drying and have quickly elevating the fire danger across the state to a level not typically seen at this time of year. 

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