Hunters are dealing with widespread land closures due to wildfires.
Thanks to a record-setting drought, nearly one million acres of Washington state wilderness have caught fire, which is the largest wildfire in state history.
Besides being an ecological disaster and public state of emergency, USA Today reported that the wildfires are also taking a toll on the state’s hunting season.
Archery deer and elk seasons, as well as general black bear season, are opening around the state but many traditional hunting areas are closed. Lands in the bordering Idaho panhandle are also closed for fear of gunshots sparking new fires.
Even when hunting grounds are open, forest roads may be closed to allow firefighters to move freely. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Madonna Lures said the state is working with hunters to determine which lands can be hunted on.
“Outdoor recreation is great but we’ve got to use common sense then,” she told USA Today.
More information about hunting access in Washington can be found here.