Wildfires are burning in parts of eastern and central Washington, causing some trail, road, and campground closures. If you are planning to head out for an annual hunting trip, a day of wildlife viewing, or another outdoor adventure, first check to ensure that your destination is open. Stay tuned to local news sources for evolving information as conditions and closures can change quickly. Up-to-date information on wildfires in Washington is available on the InciWeb site.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) closed their lands east of the Cascades to recreation through Thursday, Sept. 17. For more information on DNR's closure, read the recent news release.
Please note that unhealthy air quality levels exists across the wide portions of the state and can change quickly. Outdoor activities in these conditions are not advised. Check your location on the Department of Ecology air advisory web page.
WDFW Lands Currently Impacted by Wildfire
- Jameson Lake Water Access Area: The Pearl Hill fire has burned on and around the access area.
- Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area: The Pearl Hill fire has burned over multiple units, including several sharp-tailed grouse and sage grouse leks.
- Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area: The Whitney fire continues to grow and has already impacted residents of Davenport and surrounding areas.
- Wells Wildlife Area: The Pearl Hill fire has burned over multiple units on the wildlife area.
- Wenas & Oak Creek Wildlife Areas: The Evans Canyon fire has burned portions of the Wenas and Oak Creek Wildlife Areas.
Prevent wildfires and stay safe by following these recommendations
- Keep a cold camp. Campfires and charcoal briquets are currently prohibited across eastern Washington state lands, but also avoid using personal camp stoves, propane fire rings, and lanterns fueled by propane. Eat no-cook foods or cook food at home and bring it with you.
- Be aware when smoking. Smoking should only be done in an enclosed vehicle. Throwing a lit cigarette or any other previously lit or burning materials on to the ground is extremely hazardous.
- Drive and park carefully. Do not park vehicles in dry, grassy areas as residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass. Avoid operating a vehicle away from developed roads and ensure that motorized recreation vehicles have the required spark arresters.
- Do not target shoot. Discharge firearms only if engaged in lawful hunting.
Impacts to archery elk hunting
Wildfires may impact access, air quality, and visibility in Game Management Units (GMUs) in the East Slopes, Blue Mountains, and Okanogan areas in Eastern Washington. Hunters are encouraged to research access availability before going afield.
Hunters with a special permit to a specific GMU that is closed or highly affected by wildfire may be eligible to have points returned. Contact our Wildlife Program customer service for assistance at email@example.com or 360-902-2515.
Youth pheasant hunt location change
Due to wildfire, the youth hunt scheduled to take place at the Wenas Wildlife Area Sept. 19-20 is moving to the Whiskey Dick Unit of the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area. Register online on our hunting clinics webpage. All other youth pheasant releases and hunts will take place as originally planned, if not posted here.