Open Fire Ban in the North Cascades

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Date: September 7, 2006

Open Fire Ban


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Or North Cascades National Park Complex

Mountlake Terrace, WA -- Effective Midnight, Thursday, September 07, 2006, all open fires, including campfires in campgrounds, are banned in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the North Cascades National Park Complex

Campers can use pressurized-gas and liquid-fuel camp stoves and lanterns in designated campgrounds and picnic areas, and in wilderness areas. Wood or charcoal briquette fires are not allowed in any kind of fire pan or barbeque device.

There is currently a ban on open fires that allows campfires in designated campgrounds. This new order bans campfires in campgrounds.

Also, visitors must not burn toilet paper in field latrine holes, a problem in past years when misguided hikers have thought to be an appropriate action to take.

“This is the longest summer dry-spell we have had in memory,” says Dave Johnson, Fire Staff, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. “Lack of significant rain has caused us to impose these open fire restrictions, in the interest of protecting the forest from human-caused wildfires, and to protect people who are visiting the forest.”

“In addition to continued dry, warm conditions, we lack firefighting personnel and equipment to tackle new wildfires which could threaten lives and property,” said Kelly Bush,  Acting Chief Ranger, North Cascades National Park Complex. “Fires already burning in the West have taken down our reserve of firefighters and equipment.”

Slight rainfall and a cool day are predicted for Saturday, September 9, says Johnson, but, “It will not be a wetting rain that soaks into the tinder dry forest fuels. Warm and dry weather returns on Sunday, and the heightened fire danger will continue.

The public is asked to be especially careful while visiting their public lands and to report all fires as soon as possible. With the new ban on open fires, there will be no legal open fires in the North Cascades National Park Complex not in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Citations with maximum fines of $5,000 and/or six months in jail can be imposed on violators who are caught ignoring open campfire restrictions on federal lands. Persons who are found responsible for starting wildfires in the national forest are subject to payment of fire suppression costs.

Because of similar conditions in other areas of Washington State, visitors are encouraged to check with state or local fire protection agencies to determine other campfire restrictions.

For additional information, please contact the following agencies:

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

North Cascades National Park Complex 360 856-5700 ext 364

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