Fire danger still high in eastern Washington
OLYMPIA – Recent rains and cooler temperatures across western Washington are prompting the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reduce campfire restrictions west of the Cascade Mountains. Effective Friday, Sept. 2, campfires will be allowed within approved fire pits in designated campgrounds on western Washington lands protected by DNR.
The campfire prohibition continues on DNR-protected lands across eastern Washington. The statewide ban on other outdoor burning, such as debris burning, also continues.
“With this wetter weather in western Washington, easing the burn ban in time to permit campfires over Labor Day weekend is the right thing to do,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who oversees DNR.
“There is still significant fire risk on the east side of the Cascades, however, so we can’t permit campfires there,” said Goldmark. “We ask the public to help firefighters by observing the burn ban, with this exception for westside campfires in approved fire pits.”
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.
Check local restrictions
Individual jurisdictions may have their own continued campfire bans. Check local restrictions, campground signs or with campground hosts before starting a campfire.
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.
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.