OLYMPIA - Washington's record run of warm, dry summer weather means hunters must exercise extra caution when they head to the field Sept. 1.
Forest grouse, dove and early archery deer seasons all will open as scheduled on Labor Day (Sept. 1), but hunters may need to make accommodations due to heightened fire danger, says Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"We're not planning to modify or curtail any seasons, but to minimize fire risk hunters need to take extra caution even with ordinary activities such as smoking or driving," said Ware.
In some areas of the state, smoking is permitted only inside vehicles, and anywhere conditions are dry drivers should avoid driving or parking over grass or other vegetation because of the risk that hot exhaust systems could start a fire.
Current fire danger information is available on a county-by-county basis on the Washington Department of Natural Resources website. Hunters should also contact their local fire authorities before lighting any outdoor fire.
Further information on upcoming hunting seasons is available in WDFW's "Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules" pamphlet, and in the Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet on the department website.