DNR to Reopen Eastern Washington Recreation Lands Friday, Sept. 18

by Paige DeChambeau DNR 17th September 2020

Agency will lift its wildfire danger closures, but urges the public to stay vigilant and abide by burn, target shooting bans  


OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reopening all recreation lands east of the Cascades to recreation beginning Friday, Sept. 18. Eastside recreation was initially closed on Sept. 8 due to critical wildfire danger. While fire danger overall has decreased slightly, it is extremely important to stay diligent when it comes to fire safety.


“We are optimistic the weather will continue to cooperate, allowing us to reopen eastside recreation areas closed due to extreme wildfire danger and the risk to the public as they enter those lands through wildfire-impacted roads and towns,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who oversees DNR. “I urge everyone to continue to follow all safety regulations, the statewide burn ban and target shooting ban, keeping in mind it only takes one spark to start a devastating wildfire.”


As firefighting resources continue to be stretched thin, DNR is focused on the prevention of new fire starts. A burn ban and shooting ban remain in place on all DNR-managed lands.


Other precautions to reduce human-caused fires include extinguishing campfires completely so they are cold to the touch, avoiding parking on dry grass, always checking chains when towing, and never using incendiary devices of any kind while recreating on forestlands.


“We still have a burn ban and target shooting ban to help mitigate fire starts,” said Leah Dobey, DNR’s Statewide Recreation Manager. “It is critically important all our visitors follow those guidelines so we can continue to keep our landscapes, our communities and our forests safe.”


The forecast shows a decreased risk of large fires and more moisture on the way statewide.


The majority of wildfires DNR responds to are presumed to be human-caused. This year the agency has already seen 110 fires started from recreation activities.


Hunters with concerns about their tags should contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For a map of DNR-managed lands, click here.


About DNR Recreation


The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, led by the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, manages almost 1,300 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and 92 natural areas. DNR trust lands keep forests development-free, provide clean water, and generate revenue for public services and school construction. To learn more about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit

Posted by WhidbeyLocal
17th September 2020 9:51 am.
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