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USFS Campfire Restrictions Expanded and Woodcutting Suspended

Shared from USFS – Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Due to worsening fire conditions and continued hot and dry weather, expanded campfire restrictions will go into effect on August 4, 2017

Under the expanded campfire restrictions, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, and use of charcoal briquette barbecues, Tiki torches, and other devices that use solid fuel is prohibited across most of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Campfires will continue to be allowed on the Naches Ranger District but only in designated hosted campgrounds, and in the Goat Rocks, Norse Peak and William O. Douglas Wilderness areas due to the difference in geography and weather patterns in these wilderness areas.

“Fire danger continues to increase, and with the very hot and dry conditions expected to persist, we are following our restriction plan and implementing campfire closures,” said Deputy Fire Staff Officer for Operations Matt Castle.

“Our high elevation forest areas are rapidly drying and all fuels are now readily available to burn, as seen in recent fires. Fortunately, so far this year, lightning has been minimal so we have not had many fires, yet. These restrictions will minimize the chance of new fire starts, be in line with our partner jurisdictions, and keep the public safe,” Castle said.

The use of pressurized liquid gas stoves is an acceptable alternative in areas where campfires are prohibited. A list of approved and non-approved fire options is posted on the forest website at https://go.usa.gov/xRPHa .

In addition to the expanded campfire restrictions, starting August 6, firewood cutting is being temporarily suspended in Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) zones 675, 678W and 684. Under these heightened restrictions, called Level III Partial Shutdown, all woodcutting is prohibited. Industrial Fire Precaution Level III does not allow any firewood cutting with a power saw for commercial or personal use. For commercial timber operators, operating at landings, chainsaw use is allowed only from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Industrial Fire Precaution Level III will remain in effect until fire danger eases.

Woodcutting restrictions will also change to Level II in zone 680 on August 6. Level II IFPL means that firewood cutters and industrial operators in the Forest are restricted to morning hours of operation only, and must shut down chainsaws and other equipment by 1 p.m. Following equipment shut down, a one-hour fire watch must be maintained.

For current Industrial Fire Precaution Level information and a map of the zones, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ifpl .

What to do if you smell smoke or see a fire:

  • If a fire is burning or there is smoke present, call 9-1-1 or 1-800-826-3383 for the Central Washington Interagency Communication Center
  • Report the exact location of the fire and, if known, what is burning

For additional information visit the forest web page at www.fs.usda.gov/okawenor call the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF Headquarters office at 509-664-9200. Please observe all campfire restrictions and remember that fireworks and exploding targets are never allowed on National Forests.


Get the latest forest news and alerts by texting ‘follow OkaWenNF’ to 40404, ‘liking’ us on Facebook or following us on Twitter @OkaWenNF. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

THURSTON COUNTY BURN BAN – COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BAN

The Thurston County Outdoor Burn Ban on residential materials has been expanded county-wide to now prohibit some recreational fires, effective as of 10 a.m., Wednesday August 2 and ending Monday, September 4, 2017.

This burn ban applies to outdoor recreational burning with the exception of recreational fires in approved concrete, stone or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds. The use of charcoal briquettes, gas and propane barbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.

The Thurston County Fire Marshal in consultation with the County Manager, the Board of County Commissioners and the Executive Committee of the Thurston County Fire Chiefs’ Association, determined that current weather conditions within the county have created substantial fire danger and there is a need to enact restrictions on outdoor burning to all lands regulated by Thurston County.

Residential Burn Ban in Effect July 15 – October 1 in Thurston County

Outdoor burning of residential materials in Thurston County is prohibited July 15 through October 1. This seasonal prohibition, crafted by the Thurston County Residential Outdoor Burning Committee, has been in effect for many years. The Committee includes representatives from Thurston County, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local fire agencies and Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).

Outdoor burning is prohibited year-round for residents within the cities of Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey, as well as for county residents within the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary. Additionally, residential outdoor burn bans began July 1 in Jefferson and Clallam Counties. At this time, recreational fires are not affected by the seasonal curtailment. Recreational fires are fires used for entertainment or cooking purposes and are made of either charcoal or seasoned firewood. They can be no larger than 3 feet diameter.

The restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer and early autumn has resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past couple years, according to fire officials.

“Safety stands as the most important consideration here,” said Dan Nelson, spokesman for ORCAA. “Also, as the restrictions have greatly reduced the number of escaped brush fires in the county each year, there has been a reduction in big smoke events as well.”

Fortunately, safe and effective alternatives to burning exist. Residents have several options for disposing of their yard waste. These include the following:

  • Composting: Maintaining a home compost pile provides you with a ready source of rich soil additives that will get ride of your yard waste while reducing (or eliminating) your need for expensive fertilizes. Use the natural compost as a soil additive in your gardens to keep your flowers bright, and your vegetables plump and tasty.
  • Chipping/Grinding: Bigger, woody debris may be too large for the compost bin. That’s where a chipper comes in. Rent one yourself, or get together with your neighbors to do a neighborhood chipping party. Wood chips can be composted, or used as ground cover around open flower beds (to supplement or replace expensive beauty bark).
  • County-Wide Curbside Organics Bin, Offered through LeMay, www.lemayinc.comCurbside organics/yard waste service is available in virtually all areas of Thurston County. To sign up for service and have a bin delivered to your home, call LeMay Enterprises at (360) 923-0111. If you live in the City of Olympia, call (360) 753-8368, option 1. (Yard waste bins are now called “organics” bins.) For more information, visit the Food Plus Organics Recycling web page.
  •  Yard Debris Drop-Off Site located at:

Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center,
2418 Hogum Bay Road NE
Lacey, WA 98516

For more information on the outdoor burning rules throughout ORCAA’s jurisdiction, visit http://www.orcaa.org/burning/residential-burning

Mason County County-Wide Outdoor Burn Ban starts July 15

EFFECTIVE 8:00 AM – SATURDAY -JULY 15TH, 2017
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

The Mason County Community Development Director, as acting Fire Marshal, and in partnership with the Mason County Fire Chiefs’ Association, has determined that current weather conditions within Mason County have created substantial fire dangers and that there is a need to enact restriction on outdoor burning to all lands regulated by Mason County.

This burn ban applies to OUTDOOR BURNING, including land clearing and yard debris; with the exception of recreational fires in approved concrete, stone, or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds. The use of charcoal briquettes, gas and propane barbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.

Lands protected by Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may have different restrictions.  To find out more information or determine if you are in a Department of Natural Resources area visit www.dnr.wa.gov or call the DNR South Puget Sound Region at 360-825-1631.

Recreational fires must

  • Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated
    campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
  • Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
  • Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal
    direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical
    clearance from overhanging branches;
  • Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged water
    hose.
  • Completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a
    shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is
    encouraged as an alternative.
  • No burning when winds exceed 5 MPH.

For further information, please contact the Mason County Burn Ban Information Line at (360) 427- 7799.