Celebrate Fourth of July and Protect Our Communities, Parks, and Forests: Leave Fireworks at Home

Submitted by Olympic National Forest

As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July and the unofficial start of summer in the Pacific Northwest, all are reminded that fireworks are prohibited in national parks and national forests. 

Forecasters predict an elevated risk for wildfires on the Olympic Peninsula in July, August, and September. Protecting our forests, parks, and communities is a team effort. Visitors are therefore also encouraged to practice campfire safety as unattended campfires are the number one source of human-caused wildfires on public lands.

Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place in the Olympic National Forest or Park.

Given the forecast, all should be mindful of Washington’s increasingly dry conditions when visiting public lands throughout this summer. Follow these safety tips to help prevent avoidable wildfires:

Let the night sky be your show

Fireworks are illegal on public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. Violators are subject to a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail (36 CFR 261.52) and may additionally be held liable for suppression costs. Check local jurisdictions if visiting State, County, or City parks.

Check current fire restrictions before lighting a fire

Fire conditions are subject to change quickly. Always check with the appropriate land management agency before starting a fire.

For updated fire restriction information, visit:

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Forest

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Keep campfires small

A campfire is less likely to escape control if it is kept small. A large fire may cast hot embers long distances. Add firewood in small amounts as existing material is consumed.

Select the right spot for your campfire

Where campfires are allowed, choose a site with an existing campfire ring. Fire pits in established campgrounds are the best spots.

On the coast, fires may not be kindled closer than ten feet to the nearest beach logs and may not exceed three feet in diameter.

In Olympic National Forest, dispersed campers should follow these steps to build a campfire: Campfire Safety | Smokey Bear

Please follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize campfire impacts.

Extinguish all campfires before leaving – even if gone for a short period of time

If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

Bring a shovel and a bucket of water to extinguish any escaped embers. When you are ready to leave, drown all embers with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat until the fire is DEAD out.

Attend your campfire at all times

A campfire left unattended for even a few minutes can grow into a costly, damaging wildfire. Stay with your campfire from start to finish until it is dead out, as required by law. That ensures any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly.

Call 911 to report the illegal use of fireworks or unsafe fire use. Additional campfire and wildfire safety information can be found at www.smokeybear.com.

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