The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed the Methow Wildlife Area shooting range today until further notice to reduce the risk of wildfire.
Extremely dry conditions in Okanogan County warrant the closure, said Brandon Troyer, WDFW manager of the area. The Methow Valley has been especially prone to wildfires in recent years, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources considers the area to be a high fire risk.
The shooting range closure will remain in effect until conditions improve and the risk of wildfire decreases. The closure does not affect legal hunting on the area.
Like all of WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites across the state, the Methow Wildlife Area is also under other restrictions adopted last month, affecting campfires, smoking and the use of chainsaws.
All areas also have year-round prohibitions on fireworks and incendiary devices, including tracer rounds and exploding targets, to reduce the risk of wildfire. For more information about restrictions in effect see https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2918a/.