Before you head out to cut firewood, be aware of changes to woodcutting rules and requirements.
The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest announced an increase to the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) requirements in Zone 675 to level II on Friday, July 13. When the IFPL is level II firewood cutters and industrial operators are restricted to morning hours of operation only, and must shut down chainsaws and other equipment by 1 p.m. Following equipment shut down, a one-hour fire watch must be maintained.
Zone 675 encompasses mainly lower elevation lands and is bounded on the east by the Columbia River. Its western boundary runs south from the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF boundary through the Yakama Nation Reservation to the Klickitat County line, approximately through the center of the national forest and Yakama Reservation.
The IFPL in Zone 684 went to IFPL II on July 11. This zone encompasses the lower elevation areas of the Tonasket and Methow Valley Ranger Districts.
Okanogan-Wenatchee NF personal-use woodcutting permit holders should check with local ranger stations to obtain the current IFPL for their chosen woodcutting site before heading to the forest.
Woodcutters are also reminded to carefully read and adhere to the conditions of their personal use woodcutting permit, and to pay special attention to the fire safety equipment requirements.
Woodcutters and recreationists are encouraged to stay in contact with Forest Service offices as the summer fire season progresses in order to obtain current information on fire danger and any restrictions on activities that may be in effect.