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It is taking a bit longer to get the chill out of the air this year and these cooler temperatures are depleting the firewood supply for many Okanogan County residents who use firewood to heat their homes.
Permits to gather firewood from piles near the South Summit of Loup Loup, east of Twisp, Washington, will go on sale at the Methow Valley Ranger District beginning Friday, April 7.
“Some roads, where winter logging has occurred, will be snow‐free and dry enough to open up a little early this year,” said Methow Valley District Ranger Michael Liu. “Tree tops and material that wasn’t suitable for hauling to the mill, but is great for firewood, has been piled close to roads; making it easier for folks to get to.”
“Offering this wood early provides several benefits,” noted Liu. “First, wood gathered early has more time to season, leading to less smoke and more heat when it is burned. In addition, by making this debris from our thinning restoration work available to woodcutters, we reduce the amount of smoke from our prescribed burning that needs to occur.”
The sale of firewood permits each spring is timed to avoid damage to soft road surfaces during snowmelt. In average years, this occurs after May first.
Those planning outings are encouraged to check road conditions ahead of time, there are washouts closing roads in the Black Canyon and Gold Creek areas. Road and trail information is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts‐notices or by calling the Methow Valley Ranger District at 509‐996‐4000.
Copies of the firewood cutting policy and maps of the early season firewood opportunities will be available at the Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road in Winthrop Washington between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.