Hot weather causes burn bans statewide

Published on Wed, Jul 16, 2014
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With a heat wave rapidly increasing fire danger throughout the state, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded the burn ban from DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington to include those west of the Cascades.  

The agency announced the ban extension on July 14, and the burn ban will run through September 30. 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.”

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. Fireworks and incendiary devices are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands. Charcoal briquettes are not allowed.

The Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office also enacted restrictions on all open burning this week. 

Recreational fires are still allowed in designated campgrounds and on improved properties with the landowner’s permission. Recreational fires are fires that are less than 3 feet in diameter, burning only seasoned firewood or charcoal, and are built in an approved fire enclosure. To find out the requirements for an approved enclosure, call the burn information line at 360/676-6934. 

Violations of the fire marshal’s burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250 fine. For any questions on open burning in Whatcom County, contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360/676-6907.