Cooler temperatures and the state’s first significant rainfall in months mean that campers who’ve been roughing it without a fire this season will get a bit of a break in at least one region.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest officials announced they are lowering the fire danger level from “extreme” to “high,” effective Friday, Sept. 17. That means you can once again warm yourself with a wood-burning blaze at campsites across those lands in Lewis County, Wash.
Restrictions on target shooting have also been lifted, although explosive material, like fireworks, remain prohibited, which is the standing rule for all national forests.
As restrictions ease, fire officials want to stress that people should continue to be careful with any possible ignition sources. Vegetation remains dry due to drought conditions and extremely high temperatures this summer.
Always have plenty of water and a shovel on hand when maintaining a campfire, and always make sure the site is cool to the touch before leaving it unattended.
So far, the forecasted soaking has not prompted U.S. Forest Service rangers in Oregon to allow recreationalists to have open flames. Continue to check agencies’ websites before setting out into the woods.