Monday, March 4, 2024

Campfire ban takes effect on Friday in portions of Chelan County

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WENATCHEE - Beginning August 4, fire restrictions will raise to a Stage 2 level in parts of Chelan County, announces the Chelan County fire marshal.

Fire restrictions will be raised from Stage 1 to Stage 2 in the Chelan County Valley Zone, which includes the unincorporated lands and areas within the boundaries of Chelan County fire districts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Stage 2 restrictions include a ban on campfires in the Valley Zone. In addition, under Stage 2 restrictions, target shooting is only allowed at a gun range; hunting is permitted in open areas.

In addition, the Valley Zone fire hazard level, which reflects how fire-prone an area is, will be elevated to “extreme,” the highest level of the county’s four fire hazard ratings (moderate, high, very high and extreme).

“The Valley Zone of Chelan County, which includes our lower elevations, is dry and highly combustible,’ said Stephen Rinaldi, Chelan County fire marshal. “I hesitate to even say this, but we’ve had a relatively quiet wildfire season compared to our neighbors. Don’t let this fool you or lull you into complacency. We’re reaching those perfect storm conditions that are ideal for a major wildfire.”

Chelan County’s fire code divides the county into two zones – the Valley and Mountain zones – because sometimes fire conditions are different in its mountains and the valleys, Rinaldi explained. A map of the two zones is available on the fire marshal’s website: www.co.chelan.wa.us/fire-prevention-and-investigation/pages/fire-danger-ratings--restrictions

In the Mountain Zone, which includes the unincorporated lands and area within the legal boundaries of Chelan County fire districts 3, 9 (Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue) and 10, fire restrictions will remain at a Stage 1. The Mountain Zone also will remain at a “high” fire hazard level. Stage 1 restrictions allow for campfires in an approved pit or device. The use of grills or barbecues is still allowed in both zones.

Rinaldi warned that many state and federal lands are also beginning to ban campfires. People going camping should check with the campground they are visiting, or visit the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service (Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest) or the Washington State Department of Natural Resources websites to determine if campfires are allowed.

People who have questions about the Chelan County restrictions can visit the Chelan County Fire Marshal’s website:

• Chelan County Fire Stage Restrictions: www.co.chelan.wa.us/news/article/current-fire-hazard-designation-and-restrictions

• FAQ: www.co.chelan.wa.us/fire-prevention-and-investigation/pages/fire-danger-ratings--restrictions




 

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