Changes in store for Tucannon Lakes

Marie Allen and Fletcher Allen of Dayton regularly drive out to Blue Lake (pictured here) and other popular fishing spots on the Tucannon River in the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area.

In response to reduced fire danger, all Washington Department of Natural Resources lands and most Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lands east of the Cascades are set to reopen to the public Thursday, Sept. 16, nearly two months after they were closed.

The only wildlife area in Eastern Washington that will remain closed until further notice is the Oak Creek Wildlife Area Unit, which is near to the active Schneider Springs Fire.

DNR lands east of the mountains were closed July 23 in the wake of a historic drought and June heatwave due to concerns about extreme fire danger.

Those lands are set to reopen Thursday for recreation, camping and hunting. However, a statewide burn ban remains in effect until September 30, meaning no campfires or barbeques are allowed on state land. Self-contained gas or propane units are allowed.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is expected to announce the reopening Wednesday during a Seattle news conference, she said on Twitter Tuesday.

Emry Dinman can be reached at emrydinman@wwub.com or 425-941-5829.

Reporter covering agriculture, Walla Walla city and county government, and other topics.

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