It’s hunting season and many outdoor enthusiasts across the state are packing up their rigs for an adventure on Department of Natural Resources (DNR) managed lands. Before you head out, get the lowdown on what is open or closed and how to be fire safe this season.
As of October 15, the following recreation areas have been closed. Please bookmark this blog, because any additional closures will be listed here. You can also check our recreation page, where all access updates are posted year-round. We also recommend checking for new fires before you head out.
- Naneum Ridge State Forest, located north of Ellensburg. The area West of Coleman Road (Coleman Road is open) is temporarily closed due to the Table Mountain Fire. Naneum Ridge State Forest will open on October 15 at midnight!
- Barbecue Flats, located North of Yakima in the Wenas Valley. Access to Barbecue Flats is closed. Hunters are encouraged to visit Cascade Camp.
The following recreation areas have some access limitations.
- Ahtanum State Forest, South of Ellensburg. The Middle Fork Road is closed during the weekdays; however, will be open in time for the weekend. A great alternative is the LT Murray Wildlife Area.
- Siouxon Forest Block/ Mount Mitchell, located south of Swift Reservoir in Clark and Skamania counties. Access to this area is still available on the S-1000; however the 10 Road is currently unavailable. Please visit the Mount Saint Helens Wildlife Area for additional hunting opportunities. For more information, visit our blog.
This page only lists closures on state trust lands managed by DNR. Before recreating on public or private lands, be sure to check with the appropriate landowner for any restrictions.
Important: Statewide burn ban in effect
Dry conditions still persist throughout Washington State and DNR has extended a statewide burn ban. With resources stretched thin, we cannot afford a human-caused fire. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking hunters to be cautious and follow the following fire restrictions on WDFW land. The following activities are prohibited:
- Fires and campfires are prohibited – Personal camp stoves and lanterns are still allowed; however, extra caution is advised. Check out what happened when a home owner used an illegal burn barrel.
- Smoking – If you need to smoke, make sure you smoke in an enclosed vehicle. With the Red Flag Warning in effect across most of south eastern Washington, even the tiniest of sparks can cause a wildfire.
- Target shooting – Use established shooting ranges.
- Welding and the use of chainsaws and other equipment – On WDFW-managed lands, operating a torch with an open flame and equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.
- Operating a motor vehicle off developed roads – Do not park any vehicle in dry, grassy areas, as the heat from the exhaust system can ignite the dry grass. If you are operating a recreational vehicle, be sure you have a spark arrester.
As you head out the door this hunting season, be sure you make a fire safety checklist to keep yourself, others, and wildlife safe from human-caused wildfires.
Also, don’t forget your Discover Pass - your vehicle access pass to millions of acres of state managed recreation sites.
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