EPHRATA - State Department of Natural Resources lands east of the Cascades are set to open on Thursday.

DNR closed all lands east of the Cascades back on July 23 due to extreme heat, ongoing drought and the risk of wildfires.

State Commissioners of Public Lands Hilary Franz said conditions have improved thanks to efforts of firefighters, an expanded air fleet and a focus on attacking fires quickly to limit the spread.

Firefighters across the state have responded to about 1,750 fires this fire season, Franz stated.

A statewide burn ban on all DNR-managed lands remains in effect and is set to expire Sept. 30.