OLYMPIA - Deer hunters planning to participate in the high buck season Sept. 15-25 may find access limited in several northcentral Washington areas due to wildfires or extremely dry conditions.
Hunters can find updates on closures through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office at (509) 662-4335 or online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/fire/firemain.htm.
As of earlier this week, fires or fire danger had prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close roads, trails and campgrounds on the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests, including some access to three of the five wilderness areas designated for the high buck season - Glacier Peak, Pasayten and Alpine Lakes.
In the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, the Maple fire, on the west side of the Chiwawa River drainage northwest of Leavenworth, led to closure of part of the Chiwawa Road, nine campgrounds and 16 trails.
In the Pasayten Wilderness Area the Needle Creek fire near Mazama in the Methow River drainage had prompted closure of Hart's Pass Road at Lost River, 10 trails in the area and the Klipchuck and Early Winters campgrounds.
Access to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area also could be affected by several trail closures due to the Square Lake Fire.