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Friday, October 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Field reports: WDFW lifts fire restrictions on most department lands

A local man runs a tractor to carve out an impromptu fire line as the Pearl Hill fire moves closer to Mansfield on Tuesday, Sept. 8, near Mansfield, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland)
A local man runs a tractor to carve out an impromptu fire line as the Pearl Hill fire moves closer to Mansfield on Tuesday, Sept. 8, near Mansfield, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland)

With cooler temperatures and higher humidity reducing wildfire danger, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lifted fire restrictions, including the temporary ban on target shooting, on most department-managed lands on Thursday.

Some restrictions will remain in place in south-central Washington, including a campfire ban through Oct. 15 at all WDFW wildlife areas in Yakima and Kittitas counties, as these habitats remain vulnerable to fire.

Similarly, a campfire ban is in place through Oct. 31 at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Grant and Adams counties and at the Klickitat Wildlife Area in Klickitat County due to their drier, more sensitive nature.

People heading to areas recently impacted by wildfires should take extra precautions, as these lands could pose hazards such as unseen holes in the ground where roots have burned up or burnt stumps and trees that could fall. For more information on wildfire impacts on WDFW-managed lands, visit

For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ website ( or the U.S. Forest Service website ( For local restrictions, contact your county.

NPS releases statement on Lake Roosevelt

The National Park Service released a Finding of No Significant Impact on Sept. 20 for the Environmental Assessment of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Visitor Use Site Management Plan. This completes the visitor use management planning effort for nine priority sites at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area that began in 2017.

As funding is available, the NPS will implement the Selected Alternative (proposed action), which proposes a range of management strategies and supporting improvements to address a broader spectrum of visitors’ needs and interests, including diversified camping facilities and enhancements to day-use and boat launch areas, as well as parking areas, roads, entrances, trails, docks, fish cleaning stations and other visitor facilities.

Implementation of management strategies and improvements will enhance visitor experience and visitor safety and reduce impacts to the national recreation area’s natural and cultural resources.

The LARO Visitor Use Site Management Plan and Environmental Assessment is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.

The completed plan can be viewed at:

Driving access to Lake Elsie temporarily closed

Forest Service Road 2354 that provides access to Lake Elsie will temporarily close to all methods of motorized travel, including off-road vehicles, while the Forest Service completes needed repairs and maintenance. Work is scheduled to take place Tuesday through Thursday.

Motorists are prohibited from driving the road during improvement work in order to promote public and employee safety. Heavy equipment, such as dump trucks, an excavator, and a road grader, will be operating on the road. The Forest Service appreciates the public’s assistance as it works to improve this motorized travel route.

Forest visitors can contact the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District (208) 664-2318 or (208) 783-2363, or visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website at

Comments sought for Emerald Project

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking comments on the Emerald Project Environmental Assessment for forest treatments proposed within the Emerald Creek drainage of the St. Maries River watershed in Latah and Shoshone counties.

The Forest Service is proposing treatments to address forest health concerns in the Emerald Creek area on the St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

The Emerald Project Environmental Assessment contains the detailed proposed action and an analysis of the effects on that action.

Please refer to the complete EA and how to provide electronic comments on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website (

The Forest Service welcomes comments on the Environmental Assessment during the comment period, which ends Nov. 2.

For questions, contact Chandra Neils at

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