Contributed image/https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/

Contributed image/https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/

Burn ban in effect throughout Washington state

  • Thu Aug 2nd, 2018 12:00pm
  • News

Submitted by the Department of Natural Resources

Effective Aug. 2, the Department of Natural Resources is banning outdoor burning statewide. Some campfires will still be allowed, check local restrictions before lighting any fire. Ninety-six percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, which means a high risk of wildfires. In response, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is instituting a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.

Per the commissioner’s order, the ban began Thursday, Aug. 2. To read the entire order, go to www.dnr.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/rp_burn_ban_commissioner_order_2018.pdf?quaqyb.

Included in the outdoor burning ban are burn piles, prescribed burns and the use of charcoal briquettes.

“When the risk of wildfire is this high – and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed – we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” said Franz. “I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”

The burn ban does not include federally managed lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other areas administered by federal agencies.

Campfires are still allowed in approved fire pits within some designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

To avoid accidental wildfires, the public can practice these prevention tips:

Camping and recreating:

  • Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch. Check locally before lighting a campfire as conditions may change and counties and local fire districts may have additional or new burn restrictions.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.

Vehicles and towing:

  • Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from vehicles or trailers. They can throw sparks and start fires.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire which may go unnoticed until it’s too late.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning. Visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger for a map of burn bans by county.

The outdoor burning ban is expected to last through Sept. 30 though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.

Led by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned land. DNR is the state’s largest wildfire fighting force.