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DNR expands burn ban to western Washington

Warm weather bringing increased fire danger. - Submitted photo
Warm weather bringing increased fire danger.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Hot and dry conditions make for high fire danger

OLYMPIA – With a heat wave rapidly increasing fire danger throughout the state, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expanding the burn ban from DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington to include those west of the Cascades, the agency announced today.  The burn ban will run from today through September 30, 2014. It applies to all forestlands under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands.

“Washington is experiencing high heat and very low humidity, which is creating a dangerous situation,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We are asking everyone to take extra care to avoid any risk of causing a fire.”

This fire season, there have already been 265 fires on DNR-protected lands, with the majority caused by humans. DNR protects about 13 million acres throughout the state and operates the state’s largest fire-fighting force, with more than 1,000 trained staff ready to be deployed where needed.

Hot and dry conditions increase the potential for wildfire over the next several weeks on both sides of the Cascades. With the current heat wave projected to last into next week, DNR is urging people to be extra vigilant.

All outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands is prohibited during the ban, with two exceptions. Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and gas or propane stoves/barbeque grills are allowed. DNR-approved prescribed fires for ecological purposes may be permitted if expressly approved by the Commissioner of Public Lands.

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands. Charcoal briquettes are not allowed.

 

Only you can prevent wildfires

If you plan to burn, it is your responsibility to know the rules.

 

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, adult offenders from the Department of Corrections and juvenile offenders from the Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington's coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

 

Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov

 

 

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