East of the Cascades, burn ban will allow campfires
OLYMPIA – With continued fall weather conditions west of the Cascades, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting the ban on outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands in western Washington, effective 12:01 a.m., Sept. 20.
The burn ban east of the Cascades has been eased in order to allow campfires in campfire pits in designated campgrounds only.
“The fall weather pattern shows us it’s time to lift western Washington’s burn ban,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “It will also permit us to ease the burn ban east of the Cascades by allowing campfires in some locations.”
There are exceptions. Due to continued high fire danger, campfires may not be allowed in some locations in northeast Washington.
Check before having a campfire
County burn bans may still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington, and residents should check with local fire districts for information. If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities. Also, check with them on any campfire restrictions that may be in place.
Those choosing to have a campfire in allowed areas should:
- Use an approved or provided fire pit only; don’t create a new one.
- Keep the campfire small.
- Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby.
- Never leave the campfire unattended.
- To extinguish a campfire: drown with water, mix ashes, scrape partially-burned sticks and logs, and alternate drowning and mixing until cold. A campfire too hot to touch, is too hot to leave.
Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition remain illegal on all DNR-protected lands.
Those who negligently allow fire to spread or who knowingly place forestlands in danger of destruction or damage are subject to possible civil liabilities and criminal penalties under state law. DNR, as well as anyone harmed by such a fire, may pursue damages that include loss of property and fire suppression costs.
The burn ban east of the Cascades will run through September 30, 2016 and applies to all lands under DNR fire protection east of the Cascade Mountains, which does not include federally owned lands.
For current information on burn restrictions, call 1-800-323-BURN or visit DNR’s webpage showing fire danger and burning restrictions by county: www. fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/. For a description of activities prohibited by the burn ban, go to www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.
For a copy of the Commissioner’s Order, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. During fire season, DNR’s wildfire force includes more than 1,300 trained employees. DNR also participates in Washington's coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.