The fast-moving Evans Canyon Fire will significantly limit some recreation options for Labor Day Weekend.
Officials closed the Yakima River Canyon recreation sites, including boat launches and campgrounds, on Wednesday and shut down State Route 821 through the canyon Thursday morning. Washington’s Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the emergency closure of roughly 150,000 acres around Wenas Wildlife Area.
“Our goal is to ensure firefighters, who are trying their best to protect the communities, habitats, and natural resources impacted by the fire, are not put in a position to have to rescue a camper, hiker or hunter,” DNR Southeast Region manager Todd Welker said in a release. “We know this is an inconvenience for residents heading out for the long weekend, but we simply have to play it safe.”
Northwest Team 12 commander incident commander Bob Shindelar said Wednesday that people going out to the fire area created an extra hazard for firefighters. He emphasized the importance of following evacuation orders and not returning to those areas until officials deem it safe to do so.
DNR’s closure includes parts of North Wenas Road, Sheep Company Road and Naches Wenas Road, as well as Barbecue Flats and Wenas recreation areas. The Wenas Green Dot road management and parts of the Oak Creek Green Dot road management areas in Yakima and Kittitas counties will also be closed until further notice.
For more information and a map of the closed areas, go to dnr.wa.gov/headlines.