Extreme Fire Danger Forces Managers To Close Public Lands In WA, OR

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz speaking at a podium.
Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz announced the closure of all DNR-managed lands east of the Cascades. She visited the Red Apple fire near Wenatchee, which has now been more than 80% contained. PHOTO: Courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.


 Extremely hot and dry conditions have caused some land managers to close more recreation areas than normal. That means no hiking, no camping and no public access until the extreme fire danger lifts. 

The brittle dry land and tightly stretched firefighting resources has led to larger closures than normal. 

Three separate fires are burning through timber in the Umatilla National Forest, which spans Washington and Oregon.

Spokesperson Darcy Wessemen says officials closed the entire forest in a rare move to protect firefighters and the public.

Wessemen: “In the history of the Umatilla National Forest, we’re not aware that there has been a closure of this magnitude before. That just speaks to the unprecedented conditions that we’re experiencing.”

In another unprecedented move, Washington’s Natural Resource Department is closing all of the land it manages east of the Cascades. 

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation recently closed its land to the general public and industrial activities. Multiple fires are burning through the reservation.

Related Stories:

A map showing large fires that have burned so far this year in Washington. The different colored areas represent different land ownership boundaries. (Courtesy of the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center)

What impacts did wildfires have on the Northwest this summer?

Autumn has knocked on our doors and crossed our thresholds. With its arrival comes wetter, colder, darker days — perhaps some pumpkin-flavored treats as well — and hopefully, fewer wildfires. Heavy recent rainfall has dropped the wildfire potential outlook down to normal for the Northwest, according to the National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook.
So, how did this summer fare compared to past fire seasons? Continue Reading What impacts did wildfires have on the Northwest this summer?