2021 Wildfire Closures and Resources

Wildfire season is starting even earlier this year. We ask our community to practice good decision-making skills and respect public land closures when getting outside this summer.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 21, 2021

Wildfires are burning across our region and smoke is causing extremely poor air quality in some counties. Our hearts are heavy with concern for those affected by fires in Washington State and beyond. We ask our community to practice good decision-making skills and respect public land closures when getting outside this summer.

Here is a list of current closures and guidance from land managers (Note: This information was current as of July 21, 2021. Please check current conditions on land manager websites before venturing out.):

  • All DNR lands east of the Cascades are closed to recreation and public access starting Friday, July 23, 2021.
  • SR 20 is closed between milepost 165 and 179.5 (west of Winthrop) for fire activities in the area.  Many of the trails in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Mazama and Winthrop are closed because of the fires. 
  • All eastern Washington wildlife areas, including water access areas within wildlife areas, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), are closed to overnight use starting Friday, July 23, 2021. This includes the popular climbing area at Vantage (Frenchman's Coulee). Several wildlife areas in southeast Washington (Asotin County) and the Methow area are fully closed due to wildfires.

Be aware that conditions can change quickly. If you choose to recreate during fire season, research the area you're planning to go to for closures, check local fire activity, and be prepared to leave quickly.

Our partners with Recreate Responsibly Coalition offers these seven tips to recreate safely during fire season:

  • Know Before You Go: Know how to prevent wildfires by properly using outdoor equipment, learning campfire safety, and checking for fire restrictions and closures.
  • Practice Physical Distancing: Give people space - it's critical to not crowd firefighting efforts. Wildfires are no-drone-zones.
  • Plan Ahead: Know what fire restrictions are in place at your destination, and check if campfires, barbecues, and flammables are allowed.
  • Play It Safe: From fireworks to camp stoves, understand the potentially explosive nature of your toys and tools - some may be restricted in your location.
  • Explore Locally: Impacts from wildfire can change your travel plans. Have a back-up plan, like close-to-home gems that you have yet to explore.
  • Leave No Trace: Keep your campfire small (if allowed), and ensure that it's out completely (cold to the touch) prior to leaving or going to sleep.
  • Build An Inclusive Outdoors: Everyone experiences the outdoors differently, and we can work together to keep our communities safe.

In addition to these closures, much of the state is under a burn ban, including fire pits in developed campgrounds, charcoal barbecues, and even personal camp stoves. Avoid parking vehicles in dry, grassy areas and don’t toss lit cigarettes or other burning materials.

For information about air quality and fire activity, please see:

Please stay safe and #recreateresponsibly!