Fire pits temporarily removed due to ongoing fire danger

Submitted by San Juan Island National Historical Park

In recent years the South Beach Day Use Area has seen an increase in large, unattended bonfires constructed inside and outside fire rings (which are illegal). Numerous fires required District #3 Fire response. NPS staff routinely put out unattended campfires and clean up illegal burning of hazardous materials. Unattended, oversized, or illegal fire at South Beach could be the ignition source of a wildland fire that poses risk to American Camp’s unique resources. The NPS must mitigate threats to historic structures and landscapes, endangered and rare species and ecosystems, and sensitive cultural resources.

In November 2023, we removed the fire rings at South Beach due to their deteriorated condition. A fire ban remains in effect (since last July), no campfires are allowed until the fuel loads (I.e., adjacent accumulated driftwood) are reduced, and other fire mitigation improvements can be made. In 2025, the NPS will begin a public planning process for site improvements to South Beach, which will evaluate safe locations for fire pits and accessibility improvements. Please continue to help us protect these truly special public lands for the next generation by reporting illegal campfires to the Sheriff’s non-emergency line at 360 378-4151.