Chelan-Douglas county Stage 1 burn bans to expire at noon today (Jan. 23) as scheduled.
Washington Department of Ecology – NEWS
Jan. 20, 2017
Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications, 509 575-2610, @ecycentral
Outdoor and indoor burning limited to improve air quality
UNION GAP — A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins at 4 p.m. today (Friday) in Chelan and Douglas counties due to poor air quality in the region. Restrictions on burning will continue through noon Monday (Jan. 23), when conditions will be reassessed.
Air quality is expected to worsen as winds die down over the weekend, causing smoke to accumulate in valleys, according to atmospheric scientists with the Washington Department of Ecology. Such conditions put the counties at risk for air pollution to reach unhealthy levels. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs causing heart and breathing problems.
Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other uncertified wood-burning devices are prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Cleaner burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.
Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke.
Up-to-date burn ban information is available at www.waburnbans.net.
Ecology’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction. Call 800-424-4372 for tribal burn ban information or visit EPA’s Washington Burn Ban page on their website.
NOTE: Fire Safety Burn Bans enacted by local county agencies remain in effect until those agencies lift them. The DNR changes apply only to lands protected by DNR fire crews.
With continued fall weather conditions west of the Cascades, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting the ban on outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands in western Washington, effective 12:01 a.m., Sept. 20.
The burn ban east of the Cascades has been eased in order to allow campfires in campfire pits in designated campgrounds only.
“The fall weather pattern shows us it’s time to lift western Washington’s burn ban,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “It will also permit us to ease the burn ban east of the Cascades by allowing campfires in some locations.”
There are exceptions. Due to continued high fire danger, campfires may not be allowed in some locations in northeast Washington.
Check before having a campfire
County burn bans may still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington, and residents should check with local fire districts for information. If campers and visitors are unsure about whether a campground is on DNR-protected land, they should check with local park authorities. Also, check with them on any campfire restrictions that may be in place.
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.
Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition remain illegal on all DNR-protected lands.
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.
The burn ban east of the Cascades will run through September 30, 2016 and applies to all lands under DNR fire protection east of the Cascade Mountains, which does not include federally owned lands.
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.
For a copy of the Commissioner’s Order, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.
With the arrival this week of the most dangerous fire weather of the year, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark is expanding the statewide burn ban effective noon today, Aug. 17 to prohibit all campfires on DNR-protected lands through Sept. 30, 2016.
“After a relatively mild summer, we are entering a period of critical fire weather on both sides of the Cascades,” said Goldmark. “The greatest fire danger right now comes from carelessness. It’s essential that people understand the risks involved and do not spark any fires.”
Goldmark sees special wildfire risk over the coming days throughout the state, as high-pressure weather patterns will keep away the marine moisture that normally limits the spread of wildfire. The ability of Washington’s forests and grasslands to resist wildfire remains weakened after last year’s record drought.
The statewide burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forestlands protected by DNR firefighters. It prohibits all outdoor burning, including campfires in fire pits and the use of charcoal briquettes. Liquid gas or propane camp stoves that do not use solid briquettes and have on/off controls are permitted.
The statewide ban does not include federally-owned lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies.
This fire season to date, there have been 527 fires on 3,372 acres. By comparison, at this point in 2015, there had been 803 fires burning 319,551 acres. In 2014 by this date, there were 590 fires burning 190,742 acres.
In 2015, a record drought, low snowpack and weeks of hot, dry weather brought Washington’s worst-ever wildfire season, burning more than a million acres across the state.
“Our fire crews have been effective so far this season in keeping fires small and getting them out quickly,” said Goldmark. “I ask all Washingtonians to give them a hand by being careful and responsible when working or playing on our iconic landscapes.”
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.