With continued hot weather and dry conditions, Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park are reminding visitors that all campfires, including charcoal, are banned on both the National Forest and National Park.
This includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.
Gas or propane camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry and campgrounds but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Extreme caution is urged with any open flame.
Since July 23, fire officials have responded to five fires across the peninsula with approximately 25 acres burned on federal public lands.
“With quick response times and great help from partners, including Washington State Department of Natural Resources, wildland firefighters were able to contain these fires before they grew into larger incidents.”
While still under investigation, officials say that fires like these are frequently started due to human-caused ignitions. Common human-caused ignitions include unattended or illegal campfires, improper vehicle or equipment use, and negligently discarded cigarettes, the illegal use of fireworks.
“These preventable incidents expose firefighters, pilots, and the public to unnecessary risk as well as the potential for devastating effects of uncontrolled wildfire on natural resources.”
Though small, these types of fires can be very labor intensive to suppress and require many resources such as fire engine crews, hand crews, and helicopters to extinguish. This response could impact agencies’ ability to respond to other larger incidents occurring across the region as fire personnel and other resources need to remain on site to maintain smaller, likely human-caused, incidents.
Officials are asking the public to be aware of the high fire danger, respect the campfire ban and take precautions to ensure fire safety.
Visitors to public lands should always use caution to prevent human-caused wildfires.
To reduce the risk, remember that:
To report a fire dial 911.
Visit the following to learn about incidents and regulations across the region:
State and county area burn bans: www.waburnbans.net