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WDFW restricts fires, other activities in eastern Washington wildlife areas


The arrival of hot, dry weather has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to restrict fires and other activities beginning June 30 on agency-managed lands in eastern Washington.

Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the WDFW Lands Division, said the department is taking steps to reduce the risk of fire in state wildlife areas and access areas.

“Following fire restrictions and exercising common sense are the most important steps people can take to preserve public recreation lands and wildlife habitat,” Wilkerson said.

The department has issued an emergency order that imposes restrictions that began June 30 on agency lands east of the Cascades. The new rule prohibits:

Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings, although personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.

Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.

Welding and operating chainsaws. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.

Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

Fireworks are prohibited year-round at all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 700-plus water access sites around the state. Throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway also is prohibited year-round.

WDFW owns and manages over 700,000 acres in eastern Washington. The restrictions in these areas will remain in effect until conditions improve and the risk of wildfires decreases, Wilkerson said. Any changes will be posted on the department’s website at

For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ website ( or the U.S. Forest Service website (


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