Annual target shooting restrictions take effect at Wenas Wildlife Area

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Cindi Confer Morris, 509-697-4503

YAKIMA – To reduce the risk of wildfires, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will again restrict target shooting on the 105,000-acre Wenas Wildlife Area near Yakima and Ellensburg.

The restriction, which will be in effect June 5 through Sept. 30, will limit target shooting to the hours between sunrise and 10 a.m., when the risk of starting a wildfire is less severe.

Public notice of the limited hours will be posted at all entry points and at other target shooting sites on the wildlife area.

The department has restricted target shooting every summer since 2012, with the support of the community-based Wenas Wildlife Area Advisory Committee, said Cindi Confer Morris, manager of the WDFW wildlife area.

Target shooting has caused numerous wildfires in the area, damaging wildlife habitat and neighboring private land, and creating public safety concerns.

"With vegetation drying out and temperatures heating up, conditions are prime for sparking a fire," Confer Morris said. "These restrictions are necessary to help protect public recreation lands and wildlife habitat."

State land managers ask that all visitors to the wildlife area take precautions to avoid igniting a wildfire. Information about local fire danger is available at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/

For more information on WDFW wildlife areas, see the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/wildlife-areas.