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July 31, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Pearrygin Lake park reopens in Methow; Alta Lake park still closed

An aerial view of burned areas in and around the town of Pateros on the Columbia River.  Alta Lake State Park near Pateros remains closed because of wildfire damage while Pearrygin Lake State Park farther west in the Methow Valley has reopened. (AP photo)

An aerial view of burned areas in and around the town of Pateros on the Columbia River. Alta Lake State Park near Pateros remains closed because of wildfire damage while Pearrygin Lake State Park farther west in the Methow Valley has reopened. (AP photo)

Pearrygin Lake State Park has reopened in Washington’s Methow Valley after being closed since July 18 because of a massive wildfire in the area and power outages.

The park is popular for swimming and camping; it wasn’t burned by the Carlton complex wildfire which has destroyed more than 300 houses and burned more than 250,000 acres in Central Washington.

However,  visitors to the park will be well aware of the wildfire as fire crews are drawing water from the lake as they continue to fight the fire. Here’s the word from Washington State Parks:

“Helicopters will be dipping water from east end of the lake during daylight hours to help fight the Carlton complex wildfire. The helicopters will be flying directly over the east campground. State Parks asks boaters to recreate in the area west of the East Boat Launch and to stay clear of the air operations.”

Firefighting ground crews also will be at the park:  “Fire crews are using the East Boat Launch to fill water tanks for frontline use and using the main road into the park. Visitors should watch out for heavy truck traffic, drive slowly and proceed with caution, especially on the hill. The boat launch is set up to accommodate both the water truck and the public. Swimming is not allowed at the launch.”

To the east near the fire-devastated town of Pateros, Alta Lake State Park remains closed.  The fire burned part of the park.  It’s hoped that the boat launch, and an undamaged campsite loop, will reopen in early August.

Wherever you go in Central and Eastern Washington, double check at the state-park website on fire regulations.  Many parks have forbidden campfires and other open flames because of dry conditions.

Comments | More in Washington State Parks, wildfires | Topics: Alta Lake State Park, Carlton Complex wildfire, Pearrygin Lake State Park

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