Washington’s Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest implemented a campfire restriction that began last week, only allowing campfires in metal rings at designated sites, campgrounds, or picnic areas.
According to a press release, this includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.
Meanwhile, gas or propane camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry and campgrounds but should be used at a safe distance from flammable vegetation and forest litter.
Extreme caution is urged with any open flame, the National Park Service warned.
The Phase 1 fire restrictions are due to arid conditions that are forecasted to continue. Before the recent heatwave, precipitation levels were already below average this year, increasing wildfire risk across the western side of Washington state.
Furthermore, the fire restrictions needed to be implemented due to the need to align with state and county campfire restrictions, the current commitment of firefighting resources to battling numerous wildfires around the nation, and the strain any new uncontrolled fires would place on these resources.
The Northwest region and the nation remain at a Preparedness Level 3 (PL-3). Most firefighting resources are already deployed due to a large amount of wildland fire activity throughout the country.
The recent record-breaking temperatures felt across the Pacific Northwest have resulted in more rapid drying, quickly elevating the fire danger across the state to a level not typically seen at this time of year.
The NPS urged the public to be aware of the high fire danger and take precautions to ensure fire safety. Visitors to public lands should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires.
To reduce the risk, NPS is asking visitors to consider the following:
- Fireworks are always prohibited on federal public lands.
- Before going camping, learn of any new restrictions that may be in place.
- If smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in some type of an ashtray.
To report a fire, dial 911.