The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced August 15 that it is adjusting the statewide burn ban initiated on August 11.
The original ban was in response to the dry conditions, high winds and risk of thunderstorms that has been affecting much of Washington this summer. The DNR had banned all fires, including recreational campfires, on DNR protected lands, which includes state parks.
However, recent rain in western Washington has led the department to adjust the rules.
“We’ve seen a shift from extremely hot and dry to more moderate weather in western Washington, which means a reduced risk of wildfire,” said Peter Goldmark, commissioner of public lands. “This shift allows us to adjust the burn ban to allow recreational campfires in these specific circumstances on DNR-protected lands on the west side of the state.”
Recreational campfires will be permitted on any DNR-protected lands west of the Cascade crest, so long as the fires are contained within fire rings on official designated campgrounds.
Areas to the east of the Cascades are still running a high fire risk. Wildfires have cost the state upwards of $90 million this season, and have destroyed over 350,000 acres.
The statewide burn ban still applies to all other outdoor burning, including the use of fireworks, cooking with charcoal briquettes and burning to clear debris. The ban will remain in effect until Tuesday, September 30.