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With a warming and drying trend forecast for the next two weeks and the likelihood of “high” fire danger returning to the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest have jointly instituted restrictions on all open campfires on both park and forest lands, to take effect at 11:00 PM, Tuesday, August 1, 2006.
“With the forecast return of warm, dry weather, along with the busy fire season throughout much of the rest of the country, we are taking this precautionary measure to avoid another human-caused forest fire on the Peninsula,” said Bill Laitner, Olympic National Park superintendent.
Dale Hom, Olympic National Forest Supervisor added, “Given the continuing dry conditions, the number of fires burning throughout the west as well as one here on the Olympic National Forest, we feel these restrictions are appropriate at this time.”
Open campfires throughout the forest and park will be prohibited, with the following specific exceptions:
In Olympic National Forest:
- Campfires are permitted in fireplaces provided at the forest’s designated campgrounds and cabins. Designated campgrounds are identified by the presence of large campground entrance signs, with the exception of Lena Lake Campground. Fires are not allowed in the backcountry, wilderness or at dispersed campsites along forest roads, however, fuel stoves are allowed.
- The forest has also placed a restriction on smoking, and effective Tuesday night, will only allow smoking in vehicles, developed recreation sites and on forest development roads.
In Olympic National Park:
- Campfires will be permitted only in established fire grates at established front-country campgrounds. Along the park’s Pacific Coast, campfires will be permitted only along the beach below the high tide line.
- Backpacking stoves are allowed for use in the park’s wilderness backcountry.
- Smokers should only smoke in bare areas such as river bars, rock areas, beaches, roads and clearings and well away from vegetation or forest duff.
All park and forest visitors, along with area residents are encouraged to be especially cautious with open flame. Camping stoves should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter.
People are urged to notify the park or forest at the following numbers to report abandoned campfires or smoke.
Within Olympic National Park: Call park headquarters at (360) 565-3000
Within Olympic National Forest: Call the forest’s dispatch center at (360) 765-2223