Legal hunting will still be allowed
OLYMPIA — In a rare move, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is imposing a temporary statewide restriction on firearm use beginning Saturday, Aug. 4, in addition to fire-prevention rules already in place on WDFW-managed lands. A burn ban is in effect on lands where the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for fire suppression — effectively everything except federal property.
“Weeks of dry weather have raised the threat of wildfire on both sides of the Cascades, and it’s critical for all of us to avoid doing anything that could damage or destroy fish and wildlife habitat,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the WDFW’s Lands Division.
The department’s action follows Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation earlier this week of a state of emergency for wildfire threats across the state and is consistent with shooting restrictions imposed by other state and federal land management agencies.
Under WDFW’s temporary rule, target shooting and other gun use will be prohibited, but discharge of a firearm for legal hunting will still be permitted.
In western Washington, the WDFW shooting ban will be in effect until further notice at department-managed wildlife areas, boat launches, and other water access sites.
All temporary restrictions will remain in effect until the risk of wildfire decreases, Wilkerson said. She noted that state law already prohibits the discharge of fireworks and the disposal of a lit cigarette or other burning material from a vehicle on a state highway.
Any changes will be posted on the department’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.