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May 3 hearing to discuss changes in activity restrictions during wildfire season

UPDATE (MAY 17, 2022): The public hearing held on May 17 has been continued to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, to give people time to submit written comments on revised proposed amendments to the Fire Hazard Levels chapter of the county code.

People can email written comments to Chelan County Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi at stephen.rinaldi@co.chelan.wa.us. Comments will be taken until the end of the day on Friday, May 27.

A copy of the revised proposed amendments is available online.


UPDATE (MAY 3, 2022): The public hearing held on May 3 has been continuted to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, to give people time to submit written comments on proposed amendments to the Fire Hazard Levels chapter of the county code.

People can email their written comments to Chelan County Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi at stephen.rinaldi@co.chelan.wa.us. Comments will be taken until the end of the day on Friday, May 13.


ORIGINAL POST: A public hearing on May 3 will discuss several proposed amendments to a chapter of the Chelan County Code that summarizes local Fire Hazard Levels. Among the proposed changes is the banning the use of exploding targets and incendiary ammunition during wildfire season.

The public hearing will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3. People will be able to attend the hearing in person or join via Zoom.

The Fire Hazard Levels Chapter 7.52 outlines those travel and activity restrictions put in place annually during wildfire season. The proposed amendments come at the recommendation of the Chelan County Fire Marshal’s Office.

One of the amendments calls for the banning of exploding targets and incendiary ammunition beginning June 1 of every year. Exploding targets are objects used for recreational target shooting, which produce a visual and audible display when struck by a rifle bullet. Incendiary ammunition contains a compound that burns quickly and can cause a fire.

The use of exploding targets has a history of causing wildfires in Chelan County, including last summer’s fire in No. 2 Canyon, Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi said.

“The U.S. Forest Service already has a year-round ban on the use of exploding targets on its lands,” Rinaldi said. “In an area that is prone to wildfires, this proposed code amendment just makes sense.”

Other proposed changes to the chapter include:

The amendments propose the creation of 3 stages of travel and activity restrictions. The first 2 proposed stages will be familiar to people living in our area, with regulations such as no operating a motor vehicle off of a roadway and restrictions to outdoor fires and the use of open flame devices.

Stage 3 is new. It would temporarily ban target shooting outside of gun ranges but allows for hunting in open areas.

Stage 3 also would give commissioners the ability to put in place travel and activity restrictions in specific areas. So, for example, commissioners would be able to close a roadway if extreme conditions made an area prone to wildfire.

The proposed amendments also will change some of the vocabulary in the code to match what the U.S. Forest Service uses to help eliminate any confusion for the public. So, for example, the Fire Hazard Levels would be referred to as Stages.

 

 

 

Last Updated: 05/17/2022 01:10 PM

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