Chelan County will enact Fire Danger Ratings and Restrictions starting Saturday. 

The ratings and restrictions go into effect every year on June 1st as required under the county code, and typically expire on October 1st. 

County Commissioner Kevin Overbay says it's the annual kickoff to the drier summer season when wildfire danger greatly increases. 

"As the moisture content of our vegetation continues to decline throughout the course of the year, we will have multiple conditions that we will be looking at," said Overbay. 

There are two zones in Chelan County, the Mountain and Valley zones. 

Beginning Saturday, the Fire Danger Rating will be moderate, and restrictions will be general in both zones. 

In Chelan County, there are four Fire Danger ratings: moderate, high, very high and extreme. 

General fire restrictions go into place annually on June 1. Restrictions then progressively move to Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3, with Stage 3 being the highest level of restrictions. 

Starting Saturday, general restrictions will prohibit outdoor burning of grass, leaves and brush. Also, vehicles cannot drive off a county roadway, except to access open public lands under general restrictions. In addition, the use of exploding targets and incendiary ammunition will be prohibited. 

Overbay says there are drought conditions that will likely intensify over the summer. 

"In these drought-like conditions that we are in and will currently be in throughout the course of the year, and the fire danger exceeds or reaches higher elements, we'll be making those changes," Overbay said.   

Most of Chelan County currently has moderate drought conditions while the eastern portion, including Wenatchee is abnormally dry. 

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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews

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