Regional News

Increased Fire Restrictions on the Colville National Forest

Aug 01, 2017

Colville National Forest officials are implementing Stage II fire restrictions on Sunday, August 6, 2017, at 0001 hrs. (12:01 a.m.). Campfires will be banned in all areas of the Colville National Forest, including campgrounds. These restrictions apply to all areas, roads, and trails on the Colville National Forest.

“These restrictions are needed as we continue to see temperatures climb and forest vegetation become increasingly dry and flammable. In order to help reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire, we are moving into Stage II fire restrictions,” said Tim Sampson, Fire Management Officer for the Colville National Forest. Sampson added, “this increased step in fire prevention shows how serious our fire danger is anticipated to be and should serve as a reminder to forest visitors to pay extra attention while out enjoying their National Forest.”

Currently, the Colville National Forest is experiencing “very high” fire danger with fire behavior indicators well above the 90th percentile. Historically, when fire behavior indicators reach the 90th percentile, the Forest experiences large fires and fires that have the potential to quickly escape initial attack efforts by firefighters.

In addition to fire restrictions, the Colville National Forest has been in Industrial Fire Precaution Level II (IFPL2) since July 21, also known as "Hoot Owl" wood cutting restrictions.

  • Hoot Owl is a historic term used to notify woodcutters of elevated fire danger and limited the use of chainsaws to the morning hours when you can hear Hoot Owls. This has developed into the modern policy of no chainsaws running in the woods after 1:00 p.m. The restriction is in place to reduce the risk of an accidental fire start by mechanical equipment during the hottest and driest part of the day.
  •  A long handled shovel and a pressurized chemical fire extinguisher not less than 8 oz. in capacity is required by all firewood cutting permit holders.
  • Permittees are also required to monitor the area they cut in for one hour after cutting to ensure no spark has been fanned to a flame.

Industrial Fire Precaution Level III (IFPL3) will be going into effect on Sunday, August 6, 2017, at 0001 hrs. (12:01 a.m.) in IFPL Zones 685, 686 and 687.

IFPL3 “Partial Shutdown” prohibits operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine in violation of Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) Directives. IFPL 3 Partial Shutdown does not allow any firewood cutting either for commercial or personal use with a power saw. For commercial timber operators, operating at landings, chainsaw use is allowed only from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. For more information of IFPL visit:


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