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BeardoMcGrath
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 5:53 pm 
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I had an interesting experience this weekend and wanted to share some thoughts I had about it. My sister and I car camped in the Hart's Pass area (good larches at the moment!) and before heading out I wanted to check and see if the campfire ban had been lifted. The NF website indicated this was the case, with the restriction being lifted on Sept 25.

So we show up in that area to see TH bulletin boards still plastered with "no campfire" signs, and zip-tied notes on the individual fire rings asking not to have fires. Based on the late time in the season, and the fact the restriction had been lifted a week earlier, I guessed that the local rangers had not yet driven all the way up there to remove the notices (if they planned to at all before the snow falls -- it seemed like there was no recent maintenance for the campgrounds up there). Based on the fact that winds were light I felt comfortable having a fire, given the research I had done.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if anyone else was aware of the ban lifting, or were still put off by the notices. As I result we were the only site to have a fire in our CG, with the result being an unpleasant confrontation with another camper that we were ignoring the no-fire order. I explained I had looked online beforehand and I thought the notices all about might not be removed until spring.

Have others had this experience in NF CGs, especially late season? I wished I had printed out the webpage and stuck it on the CG bulletin board so that everyone had the info I did, and were able to have a campfire on what was a chilly evening. And of course avoid possible confrontations with other campers who might not have the most current info. It would be great of course if the forest service were quick to remove their notices but understand in the offseason they may not have the bandwidth.

In case you don't want to click the link, here's what the NF website reads:

Quote:
Campfires are Allowed*
September 25, 2020
CAMPFIRES ARE ALLOWED in all areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that are normally open to campfires.
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 6:16 pm 
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* Note that the following notice is from WDFW, not USFS or NPS, and regulations may vary from agency to agency.

Thursday October 1, 2020 17:31 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW lifts fire restrictions, including target shooting ban, on most department-managed lands


OLYMPIA With cooler temperatures and higher humidity reducing wildfire danger, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is lifting fire restrictions, including the temporary ban on target shooting, on most department-managed lands on Oct. 1.

"We welcome people to build campfires and responsibly sight in their hunting firearms on most of the lands we manage," said Cynthia Wilkerson, Lands Division Manager for WDFW, "but we continue to urge hunters, target shooters, campers, and all others heading outdoors to be cautious when doing activities that could spark a wildfire."

Wilkerson noted that some restrictions will remain in place in south central Washington, including a campfire ban through Oct. 15 at all WDFW wildlife areas in Yakima and Kittitas counties, as these habitats remain very vulnerable to fire.

Similarly, a campfire ban is in place through Oct. 31 at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Grant and Adams counties and at the Klickitat Wildlife Area in Klickitat County due to their drier, more sensitive nature.

Wilkerson said that people heading to areas recently impacted by wildfires should take extra precautions, as these lands could pose hazards such as unseen holes in the ground where roots have burned up or burnt stumps and trees that could fall. For more information on wildfire impacts on WDFW-managed lands, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/wildfire.

WDFW institutes bans in hot summer months to reduce fire risk across the state on department-managed lands and on surrounding public lands and communities. These actions protect habitat, wildlife, and human health.

For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the Washington Department of Natural Resources' website (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) or the U.S. Forest Service website (http://www.fs.usda.gov). For local restrictions, contact your county.

Maps and detailed information about WDFW's wildlife areas are available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands.

WDFW actively manages over 700,000 acres in eastern Washington and about 1 million acres statewide to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

-WDFW-

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Randito
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Normally I wouldn't expect signs like that to be removed until the following spring as part of the FS reopening trailheads and campgrounds.
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 6:23 pm 
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BeardoMcGrath wrote:
"I had an interesting experience this weekend..."

The USFS, NPS, and WDFW simply do not have staff available to run out to every trailhead and every campground and remove posted notices the minute that fire bans are lifted.

Moreover, if you're on the east side of the hill, odds are their staff people are probably out working mop-up operations on wildfires.

It might be worth noting that the only notice I received of any fire restrictions being lifted was from WDFW. I have received no such notices from any USFS District Ranger Office, or from any NPS facility.

As to confrontations with other individuals in the out-of-doors, bear in mind that some people choose (in some cases unwittingly) to behave like jackasses. Try not to take it personally.
For that matter, they don't even have to be outdoors - you can find jackasses on every road, and in every supermarket.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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gb
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 7:25 pm 
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BeardoMcGrath wrote:
I had an interesting experience this weekend and wanted to share some thoughts I had about it. My sister and I car camped in the Hart's Pass area (good larches at the moment!) and before heading out I wanted to check and see if the campfire ban had been lifted. The NF website indicated this was the case, with the restriction being lifted on Sept 25.

So we show up in that area to see TH bulletin boards still plastered with "no campfire" signs, and zip-tied notes on the individual fire rings asking not to have fires. Based on the late time in the season, and the fact the restriction had been lifted a week earlier, I guessed that the local rangers had not yet driven all the way up there to remove the notices (if they planned to at all before the snow falls -- it seemed like there was no recent maintenance for the campgrounds up there). Based on the fact that winds were light I felt comfortable having a fire, given the research I had done.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if anyone else was aware of the ban lifting, or were still put off by the notices. As I result we were the only site to have a fire in our CG, with the result being an unpleasant confrontation with another camper that we were ignoring the no-fire order. I explained I had looked online beforehand and I thought the notices all about might not be removed until spring.

Have others had this experience in NF CGs, especially late season? I wished I had printed out the webpage and stuck it on the CG bulletin board so that everyone had the info I did, and were able to have a campfire on what was a chilly evening. And of course avoid possible confrontations with other campers who might not have the most current info. It would be great of course if the forest service were quick to remove their notices but understand in the offseason they may not have the bandwidth.

In case you don't want to click the link, here's what the NF website reads:

Quote:
Campfires are Allowed*
September 25, 2020
CAMPFIRES ARE ALLOWED in all areas of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest that are normally open to campfires.


Hope you enjoyed your smoke.
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dave allyn
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PostSun Oct 04, 2020 7:41 pm 
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My wife and I stayed at Klipchuk CG last weekend. 9/25-27. We saw the notice from the forest service about fires being allowed before we left Wenatchee. The signs were up and the fire pits had signs on them when we arrived Friday evening.  The ranger came by Saturday and took them down.
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BeardoMcGrath
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PostTue Oct 06, 2020 9:01 am 
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Thanks all this is about what I expected. I should say that if the situation were reversed and I didn't know the fire restriction had ended I might also be grumpy with someone who was having a fire! Fortunately, looking at the long range forecast this is all going to be moot pretty soon.
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Bronco
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PostTue Oct 06, 2020 9:02 am 
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There is still an outdoor burn ban for unincorporated Okanogan county so it is super confusing right now.  Anyone planning to visit the area should check here for updates: Okanogan County Burn Ban

With the big fires on the east side of the county last month, I think most locals are still pretty sensitive about it.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Oct 06, 2020 9:26 am 
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I was also up there this weekend.  Temps are cooler, although still quite warm during the day on Saturday, and all the vegetation is very dry.  Official ban or not, opting to not have a fire is still a good idea IMO.
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