Gov. Gregoire extends Eastern Washington burn ban to aid fire containment efforts
Updated from press release September 30th, 2012
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today extended a burn ban for all counties east of the Cascade crest, prohibiting all outdoor burning through midnight Sunday, Oct. 7. An emergency proclamation declaring a State of Emergency remains in effect.
“Fire danger remains very high with our extended warm, dry weather conditions,” said Gregoire. “I don’t want to lose momentum on the tremendous job our fire crews and firefighters have done and continue to do each day. The assistance and cooperation of all Washingtonians who have refrained from burning is essential. We would not be as able to focus our resources and continue to help keep people safe and protect property if our attention is diverted to additional fires.”
Abnormally dry fuel conditions, a forecast for the next seven to ten days with no substantial precipitation, and expected periods of strong northerly winds led to the decision to extend the outdoor burn ban an additional week.
The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to:
• Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity
• Ignition of fireworks.
The proclamation allows for local fire departments to still issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.
Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided that use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.
The proclamation issued by the governor:
• Directs state agencies and departments to continue to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the fires;
• Notes the order into active state service of the organized militia of Washington state, to include the National Guard and the State Guard remains in effect; and
• Instructs the Washington State Emergency Operations Center to continue to coordinate all event-related assistance to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, Gregoire recognizes that smoke-filled air continues to linger in parts of eastern Washington and urges Washingtonians to protect themselves from smoke-filled air. The state’s Department of Ecology is monitoring air quality across Washington state.
To check for air quality monitoring information, please visit the link provided by the State Department of Ecology.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke on their website.