2023 Wildfire Closures and Resources

With a few exceptionally hot weeks, wildfire season is starting in earnest. Please follow good decision-making skills and respect public land closures when getting outside this summer.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
August 18, 2023
2023 Wildfire Closures and Resources

Wildfire season, unfortunately, is becoming a regular reality for residents in Washington state and beyond. Wildfires are burning across our region and smoke is causing extremely poor air quality in some counties. We ask you 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 is current as of August 18, 2023). Staff does our best to keep current information about wildfire closures posted to routes/places, but with dynamic conditions affecting large areas of our public lands, we're not always able keep our website updated. Always check the land manager website for current information before heading out on your trip.

  • Two fires are burning along the North Cascades highway - the Sourdough Fire and the Blue Lake Fire. State Route 20 is closed from mile 120 (Newhalem) to mile 171 (Silver Star Campground, where the road normally closes for the winter on the east side). All recreation is closed in this area. Please visit the North Cascades National Park fire closures page for current information.

  • The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is closed between the Suiattle River and Stehekin because of the Dome Peak Fire. The PCTA website provides updates on trail closures on the PCT.

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 as conditions are known to change rapidly.

Responsible Recreation During Fire Season

Our partners with Recreate Responsibly Coalition offer 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!  

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