Burn ban archives for: Cowlitz County

DNR eases campfire restrictions after rains

Other outdoor burning still prohibited due to continuing high fire danger

OLYMPIA – With rain and cooler temperatures easing fire danger across Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting restrictions on recreational campfires.

Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, campfires will be allowed in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds Washington lands protected by DNR.

Because forests and rangelands remain dry from the summer’s low precipitation totals, other forms of outdoor burning, such as debris burning, remain prohibited under the burn ban ordered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

“We’re thankful to have rain help wet our landscapes, but as we saw with a quick-moving fire east of Ellensburg Sunday evening, we’re not out of fire season quite yet,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “I urge everyone to check with their local authorities before lighting campfires.”

Check local restrictions

Counties and local fire districts may have their own continued campfire bans. Burn restrictions on federally-owned lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas are administered by federal agencies. 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.dnr.wa.gov/burn-restrictions.

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.

 More than 90 percent of Washington’s wildfires this year have been human-caused. As of Sept. 19, 2017, DNR has responded to 745 wildfires this year. Here is a year-to-date comparison of the last 5 years:

  • 2012 – 671 fires for 67,455 acres
  • 2013 – 722 fires for 126,027 acres
  • 2014 – 808 fires for 314,565 acres
  • 2015 – 953 fires for 753,104 acres
  • 2016 – 766 fires for 16,403 acres

Escaped and abandoned campfires are one of the state’s leading causes of wildfires, with an average of 105 fires started by campfires over the past five years. Washington also sees an average of 140 fires started by debris burning every year.

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 on-call fire department and participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

 

Fire danger rating increases in eastern Washington

Fire danger rating increases in eastern Washington

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today the following changes in the fire danger rating and burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands.

Effective 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, July 5, 2017:

Fire danger will increase from moderate to high Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Grant, Yakima, Klickitat, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Asotin, Whitman and Adams counties. Industrial Fire Precaution Levels move to a Level 2 in Zone 675. Campfires allowed in Approved Designated Campgrounds ONLY.

Effective 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 7, 2017:

Fire danger will increase from moderate to high in Stevens inside Fire Districts 1 & 2, Spokane, Okanogan, and Lincoln counties. Industrial Fire Precaution Levels move to a Level 2 in Zone 684. Campfires allowed in Approved Designated Campgrounds ONLY.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/.

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 on-call fire department and participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

DNR lifting burn ban west of the Cascades; East of the Cascades, burn ban will allow campfires

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.

DNR Bans all Recreational Fires and BBQs on state-protected lands — including State Parks

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.