As the temperatures drop and rain returns, Olympic National Park and National Forest kick off their fall tourist season with some great news. After 76 days (June 25th to September 9th) with no fires allowed in the backcountry, along the beaches or outside of established fire pits, campers around one of America’s most popular wilderness destinations can now have fires. With twenty fires burning in the park and forest during the summer of 2015, the burn ban was needed, and helped prevent making this fire season even worse. Now, if you are heading out into the back country, or to a campground along the coast or in the woods, fires are now allowed.
The full text of the press release from Barb Maynes of Olympic National Park can be read below.
Due to significant and widespread rain with resulting decrease in fire danger, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest have lifted all fire restrictions as of September 9, 2015. The restrictions included a ban on campfires outside of developed areas as well as some campgrounds. Fire restrictions are typically lifted when a significant amount of precipitation is recorded in local weather stations and the fire danger has decreased dramatically. Rainfall amounts on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula have reached 11 to 12 inches since the end of August, with amounts up to one to two inches on the northeast side.
Fire restrictions were implemented on June 25th this year. This was unusual for the Olympic Peninsula, but was necessary due to impacts of last winter’s low snowpack and the long-term drought across the Forest and Park. Additional fire restrictions and area closures were implemented in other land management agencies throughout the Olympic Peninsula. National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service firefighters responded to over 20 fires within the forest and park this summer, ranging from burns of less than ten acres to the 2,800 acre Paradise Fire.
Olympic National Forest information can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/olympic/alerts-notices/ and state and county area burn bans are listed at www.waburnbans.net
Interested in exploring Olympic National Park and Forest this fall?
Pick up the 260 page Ultimate Fall Guide to Olympic National Park ebook, which includes foliage tips, mushroom trails, and even 75+ hikes around the region!