The beginning of fall, accompanied by long-awaited rain and cool temperatures, has helped douse the hot and dry conditions that led to risky fire conditions through much of the summer, and several local agencies have responded by lifting their fire bans.
Mount Rainier National Park on Sept. 17 lifted its park-wide fire ban, opening up the option for campfires at three of the park’s campgrounds around the mountain. The park’s ban on fires was initially put into place July 23.
Pierce County on Tuesday lifted its county-wide fire ban, which means the burning of natural vegetation is now allowed. Garbage and refuse burning remains prohibited in the county. King County, meanwhile, lowered its burn ban from Stage 2 to Stage 1 in early September, meaning recreational fires are OK but burning to clear land or dispose of yard debris is still not allowed.
The Department of Natural Resources lifted their burn ban on DNR forest lands Sept. 20.
Cities, other park systems and other local jurisdictions may have their own rules on burning, so check with your local fire department before burning to make sure.
The Mount Rainier National Park campgrounds now available for campfires are the Ohanapecosh Campground, the Cougar Rock Campground and the White River Campground. Fires are never permitted on trails or in the backcountry, according to the National Park Service, nor at the Mowich Lake campground.
Fires must be fully contained within closed fire grates and always attended. The Park Service asks campers not to use branches, twigs and cones to create a fire, since they feed the forest’s lifecycle as they decompose, and campers should not burn trash, either.
The park also asks campers not to bring in firewood cut from more than 50 miles of the intended campfire to keep invasive species out of the park. Dry firewood is available for purchase at the Longmire General Store.
For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/mora.