WDFW News Release: Fire restrictions lifted on most lands in Eastern Washington

WDFW lifts fire restrictions on most lands
in eastern Washington

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has lifted fire restrictions on most department-managed lands in eastern Washington, where cooler temperatures and high humidity have reduced fire danger.

Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of WDFW’s Lands Division, said the department’s action is consistent with the recent lifting of fire restrictions by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which provides fire protection for many state wildlife areas.

“This change reflects an easing of fire danger in eastern Washington, but we still urge campers and anyone else heading outdoors this fall to be extremely cautious with campfires and any other activity that could spark a wildfire,” Wilkerson said.

She noted, however, that some localized restrictions will remain in place, including a campfire ban through Oct. 15 at all WDFW wildlife areas in Benton, Franklin, Yakima, and Kittitas counties. Similarly, a campfire ban is in place at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Grant and Adams counties through Oct. 31.

In addition, local DNR restrictions may still be in place.

Any further updates will be posted on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov. For more information on fire danger in Washington and any local restrictions, visit the DNR website at https://www.dnr.wa.gov/.

WDFW owns and manages over 700,000 acres in eastern Washington and about a million acres statewide. Maps and comprehensive information about WDFW’s wildlife areas can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/.

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WDFW News Release: Controlled burns on wildlife areas in Eastern Washington

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

September 17, 2018
Contact: Matt Eberlein, 509-429-4236

WDFW plans controlled burns on wildlife areas in Eastern Washington

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be conducting controlled burns on department lands in Okanogan, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Kittitas, and Yakima counties to reduce wildfire risks and enhance wildlife habitat.

As conditions allow, controlled burns are planned to start later this month or early October on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in Okanogan County, Methow Wildlife Area in Okanogan County, Sherman Creek Wildlife Area in Ferry County, Rustlers Gulch Wildlife Area in Pend Oreille County, L.T. Murray Wildlife Area in Kittitas County, and Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County.

The burn areas range from grasslands to Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir stands that have been thinned and currently contain logging debris and slash. WDFW may conduct other burns on department lands throughout Eastern Washington later this fall as well.

WDFW Prescribed Fire Manager, Matt Eberlein, said controlled burns are monitored constantly until they are out, and signs are posted to alert recreationists about them.

“We work to minimize smoke impacts,” said Eberlein, noting that smoke could nonetheless make its way down the valleys into town areas, or temporarily reduce visibility on roadways at night or early morning. “Motorists should use caution and watch for personnel, fire equipment, and smoke on roads in the vicinity of the burns,” Eberlein said. “Recent wildfires demonstrate the importance of conducting controlled burns.”

“By burning off accumulations of natural vegetation and logging debris, we can reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires that can destroy wildlife habitat,” he said. “It’s not a question of whether we’ll have fires on these lands in the future, but rather the degree to which we can reduce the damage they cause.”

Eberlein said WDFW is coordinating with other agencies in the area to provide assistance with the burns and is using private contractors and equipment from the local communities.

Maps showing the vicinity of the proposed burns are available at:

Post-Harvest Unit of Sinlahekin Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_01.pdf)
Rustlers Gulch Unit (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_02.pdf)
Hutchins Unit of LT Murray Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_03.pdf)
Oak Creek Unit (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_04.pdf)
Bear Creek Unit of Methow Wildlife Area (https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/sep1718b_05.pdf)

Posted in LT Murray Wildlife Area, News, Oak Creek Wildlife Area, Public Service Announcement (PSA), Washington State Public Lands | Tagged | Leave a comment

Photos: 7th Annual Go Play Topless Weekend – Aug 2018

Photos: 7th Annual Go Play Topless Weekend!

Go Play Topless

Go Play Topless

7th Annual Go Play Topless Weekend Hosted by Eastern Washington Adventures. Sponsored by Selah Sweets Report and photos by Clay Graham / Selah Sweets / Eastern Washington Tourism On the weekend of August 24th-26th, 2018 Eastern Washington Adventures held the … Continue reading

Posted in 4 Wheel Drive, Eastern Washington Tourism, Liberty State Tourism, Tourism, Washington State Public Lands, Wenas - Wildlife Area & Rec Area | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PSA: Shoestring Trail Work Party

August 26, 2018
Meet at MANASTASH CAMPGROUND at 08.30 Saturday, September 8th.

We will do a Tailgate Safety Meeting and then hit the trail toward the work project. All materials will be provided. Required Personal Protective Gear (PPE) will be provided upon request (you will need a hardhat, gloves, long sleeves, long pants and work or sturdy hiking boots). Please let us know if you need a hard hat.
Also bring a lunch. We will be out on the project site all day (plan 0930-1530 on site then wheel back to camp).

The E&E Crew will provide a spaghetti dinner and we will serve at 1800. If you can provide a side dishes (fruit or green salad, chips, drinks, etc.), please let us know.

We hope to finish in a day, but we may need a group to head out Sunday morning if we are unable to complete the project. Our crew will serve breakfast at Camp.
Please verify how many members or volunteers you will have from your club.

Contact Mikki Douglass at mdouglass@fs.fed.us and please cc dmfouts@fs.fed.us (Include any side dishes you plan to bring, PPE you might need, and numbers in group so we can plan meals please).
As always, looking forward to seeing and working with each of you! Thank you in advance for helping us out once again! See you soon.

Posted in 4 Wheel Drive, ATY, News, ORV, Public Land Work Parties, Public Lands, Public Service Announcement (PSA), Upcoming Events, UTV, Volunteer Opportunities | Leave a comment

WDFW News Release: Fire closes portion of Wenas Wildlife Area

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

June 6, 2018
Contact: Ross Huffman, 509-457-9313

Fire closes portion of Wenas Wildlife Area;
annual target shooting restrictions take effect

YAKIMA – A wildfire that started June 2 in Yakima County has prompted the temporary closure of about 4,000 acres of the Wenas Wildlife Area near Selah to protect firefighters and help ensure public safety.

Ross Huffman, regional lands manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said access from Buffalo Road and Lower Buffalo Road will be blocked until approximately June 30, while firefighters from the Washington Department of Natural Resources mop up the blaze and guard against flare-ups.

He said the closure will prevent access to the southern trailhead of the popular Skyline Trail on Lower Buffalo Road, as well as about 3 miles of the trail itself.

The closure area is bordered by the Yakima River on the east and by elk fencing on the west and south. The northern boundary extends roughly due west from Roza Dam. A map of the area is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/buffalo_fire_closure_2018.pdf.

Wildlife area Manager Cindi Confer Morris said the cause of the fire, which burned about 1,800 acres, is under investigation.

She also said WDFW’s annual target shooting restrictions took effect this week and will remain in place through September – across the entire 105,000-acre wildlife area – to reduce the potential for wildfire during warm and dry weather. Target shooting is permitted only from sunrise to 10 a.m. each day, when temperatures are cooler and humidity higher.

Confer Morris said target shooting has caused numerous wildfires in the area, damaging wildlife habitat and neighboring private land, and creating public safety concerns.

Huffman said WDFW began seasonal shooting restrictions in 2012, with the support of the community-based Wenas Wildlife Area Advisory Committee.

“Thanks to the work of our advisors and the cooperation of local community residents, there hasn’t been a target shooting-caused fire during the restricted period since 2014,” he said.

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