The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is restricting activities such as campfires on lands it manages in Eastern Washington starting Friday.

Other activities that are now banned include firing a gun for target practice, smoking, welding or operating a chainsaw and driving a vehicle off of improved roads.

WDFW manages more than 700,000 acres of public land in Eastern Washington.

The annual summer ban on the activities was delayed a couple of weeks this year, from July 1, because of an extended run of mild weather in Eastern Washington.

“Due to the wet and cool start to the summer, we delayed restrictions this year beyond July 1, allowing people longer opportunity to enjoy campfires,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW’s Lands Division Manager.

“But wildfire risk is increasing this week, and it’s time to take proper precautions to preserve public recreation lands, wildlife habitat, public health, and safety for local communities.”

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