“It’s really been an unbelievable summer,” sighed Kristen Smith, marketing manager at the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce. But the wildfires are out and flash floods have subsided (both were well away from Winthrop) and one of the best things Washingtonians can do to help the Methow Valley is to come visit and restore the local…More
Tourism officials in Washington’s wildfire areas, from Leavenworth to Chelan and the Methow Valley, are busy reassuring travelers that they’re open for business — and dearly want visitors. “We have received numerous calls and inquiries regarding the fire, smoke, and related closures, and having just returned from a three-day tour of the region myself I can…More
Weeks of wildfires. Tree-toppling wild winds this past weekend. Evacuations and power outages. At what’s normally the height of the summer tourist season, the Methow Valley in north-central Washington has been dealing with the forces of natures that have severely impacted local life — and tourism. Sun Mountain Lodge near Winthrop, one of the loveliest lodges…More
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…More
The good news: So far, your Independence Day weekend campfire in a designated campground with fire rings is not in danger of being banned. But crackdowns are starting in dry areas east of the Cascades. In the past few days, these fire restrictions have been announced: No burning is allowed on state Department of Natural Resources-protected lands east…More
Yes, we’ve had some rain around the state in recent days — even damaging deluges in places such as the North Cascades — but campers should be aware: The two-week-old ban on campfires in Washington’s state parks continues.
That’s puzzled some campers in places such as the Washington coast where it hasn’t seemed very dry. Here’s an excerpt from an email that came to me Friday night from a California visitor to a coastal state park:
“Tonight I write you from Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington, where it is 57 degrees at 98 percent humidity. According to another website, the fire danger is rated as ‘very low.’ Five hours inland, large wildfires may be raging, but you wouldn’t know it here, where mist-caused water drops pellet my van’s roof. Which prompts my question: Under what authority does Washington State make the idiotic demand all campfires cease?”
The authority comes from the Washington Administrative Code, Section 352-32-125, governing fires and campfires in state parks (boldface is my addition):More
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest on Tuesday closed the area and trails around Klonaqua Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness because of a lightning-caused wildfire affecting 30 acres.
Designated as the Granite Mountain Fire, it is burning 19 miles west of Leavenworth.
An area of approximately seven square miles is closed to public entry around the fire zone. Trail closures inMore
If you’re heading to Lake Chelan soon, be prepared for smoky haze because of a wildfire burning along the upper end of the Central Washington lake, plus other fires in the area. But tourism businesses and boating are operating as usual.
A webcam at Stehekin, a remote boat-in community at the northwest end of the lake, showed smoky conditions Tuesday evening; it was less hazy at the resort community of Chelan, about 50 miles away at the other end of the lake.
With fires coming at the height of the summer vacation season, tourism authorities emphasized Tuesday afternoon that businesses are open asMore