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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: wildfires
August 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

The Methow Valley is open for business this holiday weekend

The Old West-theme town of Winthrop is hungry for visitors now that the region’s fires are out. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times) “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…

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Comments | More in Methow Valley, Northwest, weekend getaways, wildfires | Topics: Labor Day, Methow Valley, weekend ideas

August 4, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Come visit, urge officials in Wash. wildfire areas

Vacationers play at Lake Chelan on Monday afternoon, as shown in this shot from the Campbell’s Resort webcam. 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,…

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Comments | More in Washington tourism, wildfires | Topics: Cascade Loop Scenic Highway, chelan, Leavenworth

August 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Methow Valley deals with wildfires, wild weather at height of tourist season

Air tankers and helicopters are being used to fight the Carlton Complex wildfire in the Methow Valley, including this DC-10 air tanker dropping fire retardant on July 19. (Elaine Thompson photo / AP) 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…

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Comments | More in Methow Valley, wildfires | Topics: Carlton Complex Fire, Carlton Complex wildfire, Rising Eagle Road fire

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) Pearrygin Lake State Park has reopened in Washington’s Methow Valley after…

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

July 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Your holiday weekend campfire (in a campground) is safe (so far)

Burning restrictions are being imposed in parts of the state, but campfires in designated campgrounds are OK for the holiday weekend. (photo by Betty Udesen/The Seattle Times) 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…

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Comments | Topics: burn bans, campfire ban, campfires

August 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM

State parks campfire ban continues, despite recent rain

Campfires such as this one at this one at Kitsap Memorial State Park are still banned in all state parks because of fire danger and limited firefighting resources. (Archive photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times, 2006)

Campfires such as this one (from a prior year) at Kitsap Memorial State Park are still banned in all state parks because of fire danger and limited firefighting resources. (Photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times, 2006)

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):

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Comments | More in Northwest, Parks, state parks, wildfires | Topics: campfire ban, campfires in state parks, state parks

August 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Fire closes Klonaqua Lakes, may send smoke into Leavenworth

Leavenworth could get smoke and haze from a nearby wildfire, forest officials warn. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Leavenworth could get smoke and haze from a nearby wildfire, forest officials warn. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

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 in

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Comments | More in Northwest, Outdoors, wildfires | Topics: Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Klonaqua Lakes, Leavenworth

July 30, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Wildfires bring some smoke to popular Lake Chelan

A website at Stehkin on Lake Chelan showed smoky conditions because of a nearby wildfire on Tuesday evening. See http://www.golakechelan.com/StehekinCam.html

A website at Stehekin on Lake Chelan showed smoky conditions because of a nearby wildfire on Tuesday evening. See http://www.golakechelan.com/StehekinCam.html

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 as

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Comments | More in wildfires | Topics: Lake Chelan, satus pass, Stehekin