Fire Safety

The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is located in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, surrounded by vast stretches of forested wildlands. Fires have long been a natural component of the ecosystem here, but with a warming climate and prolonged drought conditions, wildfires have become larger, more frequent and more destructive.

(To learn about how the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest shaped their lands with intentional use of fire long before settlers came to the continent, check out this story from Crosscut.)

To mitigate the risk of wildfire around campus, we are certified in the Firewise USA program - proactive precautions include sprinkler systems, metal roofs and defensible space.  

Update July 2021: Forest fire conditions in our region are extreme. Gov. Jay Inslee recently declared a statewide state of emergency relating to the growing risk of wildfires, including a statewide prohibition on most outdoor and agricultural burning through September 30, 2021. No campfires are allowed in the national park or on campus. Our staff track fires in the region and work closely with fire managers to determine if we need to cancel programs. We have an evacuation plan if wildfires forced the closure of our campus while staff and guests are present.  

We recommend that you check Inciweb for current information on fires: You can also check our current air quality at PurpleAir: