Extreme fire restrictions are now in place across Chelan County.


Submitted photo

 

The travel and activity restrictions, put in place by the Chelan County fire marshal, are the highest level of restrictions allowed by county code. Last Thursday, Chelan County Public Works crews installed some 70 signs around the county indicating the extreme conditions.

Under the extreme level, temporary barricades also are placed at 17 county roads for added emphasis and public awareness. The barricades do not mean the road is closed.

The restrictions are meant to help reduce the occurrence of fires that may be caused by recreational, residential, commercial and other activities. Area activity and road travel restrictions include:

·No operation of any motor vehicles off the road

·No fireworks

·No outdoor fires or outdoor open flame devices

·Use of charcoal briquettes is prohibited unless used in a commercially made, residential barbeque

 Watch the Public Works website at http://www.co.cheln.wa.us/public-works/pages/traffic-alerts-and-restrict...? parent=traffic%20Alerts for any updates or road closures due to wildfires.

The website also has the Chelan County code (Chapter 7.52) and the declaration signed last Wednesday by the fire marshal.

Special Notice: Temporary Target Shooting Banned on DNR lands

In order to help prevent wildfires, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is temporary banning all target shooting on 3 million acres of DNR-managed lands. This includes state forests, community forests, and forested state lands. Commissioner Franz is encouraging private landowners to consider target shooting restrictions on their own lands. 
“Current conditions require us to take reasonable steps to reduce wildfire risk,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Within days we expect to surpass the average number of wildfires that my crews normally respond to within an entire wildfire season. Resources are stretched and we must all do our part to protect our communities and our firefighters.” 
Shooting at targets poses greater risk in dry conditions as bullets pass through decayed wood, cause sparks off rocks, or break into fragments in dry grass. This temporary rule does not restrict hunting, as firearms are discharged less frequently.
Washington is extremely hot and dry, with ninety-six percent of the state in drought-like conditions. Vegetation is very dry and getting drier.
On average, DNR responds to 22 wildfires on DNR-managed lands each year caused by shooting – that includes illegal explosive targets and target practice.
The temporary ban went into effect Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is also restricteing shooting on WDFW-managed lands beginning Saturday.
The DNR target shooting ban is expected to last through Sept. 30, 2018, though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions. The agency is encouraging target shooters to visit local private and public target range facilities during this time. 

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