The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Wednesday afternoon it is easing fire restrictions on all agency-managed lands in eastern Washington, where recent rains have reduced the risk of wildfires.
A number of restrictions on activities enacted Aug. 8 – in response to extreme fire danger – are no longer in effect. They are:
-- Smoking outside an enclosed vehicle.
--Target shooting outside designated shooting ranges, except on the Wenas Wildlife Area, where a temporary rule prohibits the activity through Sept. 30.
-- Use of welding equipment, chainsaws, and other equipment powered by combustion engines.
-- Operating a motor vehicle off developed roads.
Clay Sprague, the agency’s land manager, said lifting the restrictions is consistent with changes in fire rules approved this week by the state Department of Natural Resources, which provides fire protection for many state wildlife areas.
Sprague emphasized that while some restrictions have been lifted, the ban on campfires remains in effect east of the Cascade Mountains, where hot weather is predicted across the region.
The department eased all fire restrictions on its lands in western Washington on Aug. 15, when wetter, cooler weather reduced fire danger.