Fire restrictions in unincorporated areas of Chelan County are being lowered to Stage 1 starting Friday. 

Stage 1 restrictions mean homeowners can have residential campfires in a designated campfire area, such as a portable fire pit.  

County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says some other restrictions are still in place. 

"I just want to remind people that this does not mean that the ban is being lifted on outdoor open burning," said FitzSimmons. "That is an annual ban, and that is not lifted until Oct. 1." 

Outdoor burning of grass, leaves, brush and other natural materials remains prohibited until October. 

FitzSimmons says Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi still wants residents to be careful with activities. 

"The words that he used are 'let's use a lot of caution', because of that fuel load that is out there, it's still very high," FitzSimmons. "So, what he means is it's still very dry out there." 

The county's separate category of fire danger rating remains at "very high" in the Valley Zone areas and "high" in the Mountain Zone. 

Still, FitzSimmons says conditions are likely less conducive to wildfires now than last year, when Stage 1 restrictions were extended for an additional two weeks in October because of especially dry conditions. 

She also said it’s unusual to drop from Stage 2 to Stage 1 before October 1, because the higher restriction is normally left in place until the annual end to the moratorium October 1. 

Stage 1 restrictions are automatically triggered on June 1 by county code. 

The overall restrictions for Stage 1 are defined here 

Stage 1 restrictions also include: 

  • The use of exploding targets and incendiary ammunition is prohibited. 
  • Motorists cannot drive off a county roadway, except to access open public lands. 
  • Fires are allowed in commercial barbecues and camp stores. 
  • Fireworks are prohibited in Chelan County. 

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