WENATCHEE — Recreational campfires are now allowed throughout Chelan County after officials reduced fire risk levels.
Chelan County commissioners on Tuesday lowered the fire hazard in the Valley Zone from “very high” to “high,” the county said Wednesday in a news release. The Valley Zone includes most cities in the county, including Wenatchee, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan.
The Mountain Zone, which includes Leavenworth, Plain and Stehekin, was dropped to “high” on Sept. 14, according to county spokeswoman Jill FitzSimmons.
Under a “high” fire hazard, recreational campfires are allowed in certain areas, such as designated campgrounds or an outdoor fireplace. Outdoor burning, the use of open-flame devices and driving motor vehicles off the roadway remain prohibited.
In July, the fire hazard was raised to “extreme” — the highest level allowed by county code — in both zones.
The Wenatchee Foothills’ Horse Lake Road, which was closed in early August due to dry conditions and the potential for wildfires, has also been reopened.
The hazard levels are set to expire Sept. 30. However, Chelan County Fire Marshal Bob Plumb cautioned that fire season isn’t over.
“If we don’t get rain, our dry conditions will continue into fall. The public needs to remain cautious and vigilant when recreating or working in the outdoors,” Plumb said. “It’s been a tough summer. Let’s not add one more fire.”