Despite this morning’s light rain, with the recent heat wave increasing fire danger throughout the state, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is expanding the burn ban from DNR-protected lands to include Western Washington. The burn ban will run from today through September 30, 2014. It applies to all forestlands under DNR fire protection.
“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.