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Washington State News

WDFW Lifts Target Shooting Ban on Department-Managed Lands

Photo by IDFG

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has lifted its ban on target shooting for department-managed lands east of the Cascades.

“We recognize that this time of year is an important window for hunters looking to sight in their firearms in preparation for modern firearm general deer season, which starts Oct. 15,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW’s lands division manager. “However, wildfire risk is still high in many locations, so it’s critical that people be very cautious and limit shooting to necessary hunting preparation if possible.”

WDFW also encourages target shooters to be aware if there are dry fuels (grasses, weeds, and wood) in the area that they intend to target shoot and consider another area if necessary. If conditions are hot and dry, the Department suggests that target shooters consider postponing shooting or planning a time for target practice in the early morning. 

Other fire restrictions, which went into effect in mid-July, remain in place until further notice for Department-managed lands east of the Cascades. The restrictions prohibit:

  • Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle. Do not throw lit cigarettes out your window.
  • Welding and operating chainsaws, including the use of an acetylene torch or other open flame.
  • Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all WDFW-managed lands around the state. Throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway is also prohibited year-round.

For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the Washington State Department of Natural Resources website or the U.S. Forest Service website.

WDFW manages more than a million acres of land and hundreds of water access areas throughout the state. By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places, the Department serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the state’s land and water for its human and wildlife populations.