Campfires are now permitted in approved fire pits in designated state and other campgrounds managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Commissioner of Public Lands lifted the ban on recreational fires in eastern Washington last Friday (Aug. 30). The ban on such fires west of the Cascade crest was lifted two weeks earlier.

The decision whether to allow campfires in state parks in eastern Washington is up to park managers, depending on conditions at each park. Pearrygin Lake State Park is allowing campfires at most campsites, but some areas are still too dry for fires to be safe. All wood and charcoal fires are still prohibited at Alta Lake State Park. Visitors are advised to consult bulletin boards and rangers at the parks.

All other outdoor burning is still prohibited on state lands. There is also a ban on outdoor burning throughout Okanogan County, although gas- and charcoal-fired barbecues are permitted, as are campfires under three feet in diameter on private land.

Campfires are permitted in U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in the Methow Valley Ranger District.

While conditions have permitted DNR to lift some restrictions, agency fire managers caution that all campfires must be constantly attended and completely extinguished (doused until they are cool to the touch). They also warn against parking in dry, grassy areas, since heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.

Fireworks and exploding targets are not permitted on DNR-protected lands.