High fire conditions prompt ban in national forest

EVERETT — Beginning this week, officials with the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest have banned open campfires and smoking outside of developed campsites.

According to fire officials, a long persistent dry summer has created dangerously high fire conditions, and the National Weather Service predicts more dry conditions ahead, spokeswoman Renee Bodine said.

Wood and charcoal fires are allowed in developed campgrounds and group campgrounds that have established concrete or steel-grated fire pits or rings.

Prohibited until further notice are open campfires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires and warming fires. Permissible sources for cooking or heat include portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel. Smoking is allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings and developed recreation sites.

Violators can be fined up to $5,000 or can serve up to six months in jail.

Report fires to the Washington wildland fire hotline at 800-562-6010.

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