PUBLIC LANDS -- National Forest officials in Washington are are restricting activities that could accidentally spark wildfires as the state continues to be tinder dry and in a pall of smoke from other fires.
Starting Tuesday, Aug. 12, campfires will only be allowed only in approved campgrounds on the 1.1 million acre Colville Forest and smoking will be prohibited outside of a vehicle. These restrictions apply to all areas, roads and trails.
Liquid gas stoves are exempt from this restriction.
- Similar restrictions are set to begin Friday, Aug. 8, on the Umatilla National Forest.
The forests will enact "Hoot Owl" wood cutting restrictions, which prohibit use of chainsaws in the woods after 1 p.m. when fire danger increases.
A long handled shovel and a pressurized chemical fire extinguisher not less than 8 oz. in capacity is required by all wood-cutting permit holders.
Motorists should also exercise caution when driving on Forest roads and trails by avoiding dry grass and vegetation; hot exhaust systems can easily ignite dry grasses, said Franklin Pemberton, forest spokesman.
Fireworks are never allowed on national forests.