Local News

Fall Firewood Gathering Opportunities in Okanogan County


Oct 06, 2017

Hillsides painted with vibrant colors and cool crisp morning air scenting faintly of woodsmoke herald the autumn season in Okanogan County.  Cooler temperatures and improved moisture recovery have reduced fire danger and allowed firewood gathering once again.  There are some added opportunities for firewood gatherers this fall, including remains left behind after thinning and from fire suppression efforts. 

Four Timber sales, one east of Twisp, one north of Winthrop and another two east of Tonasket, Washington have concentrations of firewood available at clearings used for piling logs during timber harvest.  Maps showing the South Summit, Buck Lake, Mt. Annie and Crawfish firewood opportunities are available at Forest Service Offices in Omak, Tonasket and Winthrop. 

Trees thinned to improve fireline during the Diamond Creek Fire can be found along open Forest roads.  A short term exception has been made to allow for removing this material where firewood collection is normally off limits to protect critical habitat.  Authorization forms for gathering wood in the Lost River and Eightmile area can be picked up at the Methow Valley Ranger District Office in Winthrop.  Firewood permits are still required and those gathering firewood in these normally restricted areas must possess the authorization form.

“Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, which, among other things, indicate restrictions for timing of chainsaw use in forested areas during fire season, are still requiring shutoff at 1:00,” said Paul Nash, Timber Staff officer for the North Zone of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.  “We expect levels to drop soon but even when the IFPLs lower, woodcutters should remain aware of fire danger and comply with requirements such as having a shovel and extinguisher on hand.”

Personal use firewood permits cost $2.50 per half cord with a minimum purchase of four cord.  They are available at Forest Service offices.  The Firewood Collection Guide, available where permits are sold, explains the conditions and requirements associated with firewood permits.  Woodcutters are reminded to read and follow the conditions the Firewood Collection Guide carefully and to contact the nearest Forest Service Office with any questions.

Some seasonal road closures occur October 1st.  Please check the travel plan map prior to any outing for information about which roads are open:  http://bit.ly/2xVFIkk.

More information about the firewood program is available at http://bit.ly/2y2JaZB and by calling the Methow Valley Ranger District 509-996-4000 or Tonasket Ranger District 509-486-2186.


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