Small Fire Near Rimrock Lake Caused by Escaped Campfire; Officials Ask People to Follow Campfire Ban


Firefighters responded to small fires near Rimrock Lake and Thorp Mountain on Friday, and officials with the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest asked people to obey a ban on campfires.

An escaped campfire turned into a fire that was 1/10th of an acre south of Rimrock Lake on the Naches Ranger District on Friday night, according to a news release.

Forest service crews were out until after midnight responding to other illegal campfires in the forest.

"Firefighters are already responding to the fires from lightning that came through on Aug. 11," the release said. "Responding to human-caused fires pulls resources away from being available to respond to new incidents and puts unnecessary strain on firefighters."

Expanded campfire restrictions went into effect Thursday across the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Wood and charcoal campfires are banned. Fuel stoves and lanterns can be used, but wood-burning camp stoves are not allowed.

There are six fires on the Cle Elum Ranger District, all within 2 miles of Thorp Mountain and approximately 11-13 miles northwest of Cle Elum, the release said.

A closure is pending for the Thorp Mountain area, the news release said. The Forest Service asked people to stay clear of that area with helicopters and firefighters working there.

The Cle Elum district fires are less than an acre in size with the exception of the Thorp Mountain Fire, which is 4 acres. Helicopters continue to drop water on this fire to aid in fire suppression efforts. The  1/4  acre Malcolm Fire, 13 miles north of Cle Elum, was contained and controlled Saturday morning.