Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Wildfires Continue to Burn Across Washington

Wildfires Continue to Burn Across Washington

Posted by Erik Haugen-Goodman at Jul 02, 2015 07:40 AM |
Filed under:

Continued hot and dry weather conditions have left Washington vulnerable to wildfires this summer. Get the latest info on current fire conditions and campfire restrictions.

UPDATE (July 5 at 11:55 p.m.): Several new fires started over the holiday weekend, prompting additional trail closures.

In the northeast corner of the Pasayten Wilderness, the Newby Lake Fire has closed Horseshoe Basin.

On the west flank of Mount Adams, the Horseshoe Fire has prompted closures within Mount Adams Wilderness south of Riley Camp to protect hiker safety. The following trails, are closed:


Wildfires continue to crop up around Washington and officials are asking for extra vigilance in containing human-caused fires during the upcoming 4th of July weekend. In light of the extremely dry conditions across the state, here are some updates on current fires and restrictions:

Thunder Creek Fire in North Cascades National Park

The Thunder Creek Fire that has burned just over 100 acres has seen encouraging progress over the past week, and is now 60% contained. Please note the following campground and trail closures for the area:

  • Thunder Creek Trail between McAllister and Skagit Queen Camps
  • Fisher Creek Trail west of Cosho Camp to the junction with Thunder Creek Trail
  • Junction hiker & stock and Tricouni campgrounds

These closures will remain in effect until further notice.

Paradise Fire in Olympic National Park

The Paradise Fire that has currently burned more than 1,000 acres in Olympic National Park in the Queets Valley is currently at 21% containment. Please note the following trail closure:

  • Queets River Trail at Bob Creek

This closure will remain in effect until further notice.

Paradise Fire
Paradise fire burning in the Queets Valley. Photo by InciWeb

Tip: If you ever have a question about hiking in a region with an active wildfire, contact or visit a ranger station.

Current fire restrictions and bans

Due to hot temperatures and low moisture across the state, campfire restrictions are in place to prevent future wildfires. Here are some details on current restrictions:

  • Open fires and use of charcoal briquettes is prohibited as of June 26, 2015 in all state parks across Washington. This includes fires in designated fire rings. This restriction is in place until further notice.
  • Olympic National Forest has banned all campfires except those inside designated fire rings within developed campgrounds as of June 25, 2015. Briquette fires are not allowed inside the restricted areas. The following campgrounds have total bans on all fires within Olympic National Forest due to extreme fire danger: Lena Lake, Elkhorn, Campbell Tree Grove, Littleton Horse Camp.
  • Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has banned all open campfires as of June 29, 2015, except in designated fire rings within developed campgrounds
  • As of July 2, 2015, campfires are prohibited in the Cle Elum, Wenatchee River, Entiat, and Chelan ranger districts until further notice
  • Gas and propane stoves are still able to be used within state and national forest lands

Campfires: a safety refresher

If you are camping in an area without a burn ban, make sure your campfire is built and put out responsibly. The advice below is adapted from guidelines from the Gifford Pinchot and Mount Hood National Forests Fire Staff:

Enjoying a fire

  • Make sure a campfire is allowed where you are camping. Check to see if there is a burn ban in your county.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep tents and other combustible materials away from the fire.

Putting it out

Fires can often creep along the ground, slowly burning roots and dead leaves. Days later, the smoldering fire could break out into a real wildfire.

  • Drown the campfire with water and stir charred material.
  • When leaving, make sure your fire is dead out. Feel all sticks, charred remains, coals and ashes to make sure they are cool to the touch. Make sure no roots are smoldering. Look for smoke rising from the ground as an indicator of below ground fire.
  • If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave.

Backpacking and fire safety

If you are backpacking, brush up on your backcountry fire safety and best practices.

Tracking fires with the Hike Finder Map

Did you know you can track current wildfires using our very own Hike Finder Map? To see an overlay of current wildfire locations, visit the map and select the 'USFS Fires' button at the top. Areas with active wildfires will show with a red outline. This is a great way to make sure your weekend destination isn't nearby!