Debris burning illegal in Lewis, Skamania, Clark and Cowlitz counties
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in coordinating with Lewis, Skamania, Clark and Cowlitz counties, is implementing burn restrictions as the fire danger rises to moderate.
More than 50 percent of the wildfires reported in the DNR’s Pacific Cascade Region so far this year have been from debris burns escaping 1 to 20 weeks after the initial burn.
Therefore, effective 12:01 a.m. July 1, 2018:
- DNR burn permits issued previously will be suspended until the fire danger subsides in the fall.
- Rule burning – smaller burn piles normally allowed when following certain rules – are no longer allowed on DNR protected lands until fall.
- Lewis, Skamania, Clark and Cowlitz counties ban debris burning on lands protected by the fire districts within their respective counties.
- The fire danger rises to “Moderate”.
This coordinated change means it is now illegal to burn debris across all lands in these counties (except federal and tribal) until further notice.
Burning piles of wood and other debris are a common cause of wildfires. Those who have already burned piles this winter or spring are encouraged to double check their piles by digging into the remains and feeling for heat.
Rain or snow alone won’t put out a burn pile – they can actually create a mud cap that traps burning, smoldering material below for long periods of time. Once higher temperatures arrive, the cap dries out letting the fire escape.
These jurisdictions currently still allow recreational campfires. However, always check locally throughout the summer for new restrictions before lighting a campfire.
Daily updates on DNR burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map www.dnr.wa.gov/IFPL.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, 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 wildland fire department, with more than 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 800 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 550 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties.
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