If your Labor Day plans involve a stick and a marshmallow over an open campfire, you may need to strike those s’mores off the menu and tell the kids they’ll have to make do with ghost stories and some cuddles in the tent.
Campfire bans are in effect in many popular areas. In these areas, liquid-fuel camp stoves are generally allowed but wood or briquette fires of any kind are prohibited. We recommend calling your campground or destination directly to make sure you have the information you want before heading out.
Here’s a quick rundown.
North Cascades National Park Service Complex:
Because of wildfires to the north of us in British Columbia, the holiday weekend is kicking off with a burn ban in all portions of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, which includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest:
Campfire restrictions are in place as of Aug. 19, 2017 in the entire Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This includes popular areas such as the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger District. Liquid fuel cook stoves are generally allowed.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources:
Eastern Washington areas managed by Washington's Department of Natural Resources have a burn ban in place. Check DNR’s Twitter page for updates; map shows current fire restrictions.
Unincorporated Snohomish County:
Currently in-effect unincorporated Snohomish County burn ban now includes all recreational fires.
This is not a comprehensive list of burn bans in Washington State. Washington State Parks has not announced a blanket campfire ban but one could be in effect at select campgrounds. We recommend keeping an eye on the agency’s Twitter page or calling the ranger’s office at the park where you’re headed. Phone numbers can be found on Washington State Parks’ website.
If you’re up for the regulations, the lack of warm chocolate and mushy marshmallow doesn’t need to hold you back from an outdoor outing. Obviously, skipping the campfire on your camping trip is a tiny problem compared with the the threat to human life and property caused by wildfires.
All it takes is a little pre-planning. Load up your pack with some no-cook options for eats this weekend and pack your bag with extra warm clothes for when the temps decline. All that said, be careful. Some 90 percent of wildfires in the US are created by humans. Be smart. Be safe. And enjoy a safe holiday weekend.