OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that campfire restrictions are eased. Recreational campfires will be permitted in established fire rings in designated campgrounds on DNR-protected lands statewide, including east of the Cascade Crest.
There are exceptions. Due to continued high fire danger, campfires may not be allowed in some locations in northeast Washington. Visitors must check at the campground entrance or with the campground host before starting a campfire.
In other areas, fire danger has been reduced by the recent rainfall and moderating temperatures.
Even though conditions have improved, there are still many weeks to go in this year’s wildfire season.
Statewide, all other outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands continues to be prohibited under this ban. Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition remain illegal on all DNR-protected lands. The statewide burn ban will run through September 30, 2014. It applies to all lands under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands.
If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities on campfire restrictions that may be in place.
In addition, DNR urges extreme caution around any activity that may cause a fire to start. Under these severe fire-hazard conditions, logging operations, land clearing, road and utility right-of-way maintenance, use of spark-emitting equipment and other activities that create a high risk of fire ignition should be drastically curtailed.
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.
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 over 1,100 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration juvenile offenders participate in the DNR correctional camps program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, email@example.com