Category Archives: Ecology Central Regional Office

Effective Aug. 2, DNR Bans Outdoor Burning Statewide

Some campfires still allowed, check local restrictions before lighting any fire

OLYMPIA –Ninety-six percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, which means a high risk of wildfires. In response, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is instituting a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.

Per the Commissioner’s Order, the ban begins Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Included in the outdoor burning ban are burn piles, prescribed burns, and the use of charcoal briquettes.

“When the risk of wildfire is this high – and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed – we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” said Commissioner Hilary Franz. “I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”

The burn ban does not include federally managed lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other areas administered by federal agencies.

Campfires are still allowed in approved fire pits within some designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

To avoid accidental wildfires, the public can practice these prevention tips:

Camping and recreating

  • Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch. Check locally before lighting a campfire as conditions may change and counties and local fire districts may have additional or new burn restrictions.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.

 Vehicles and Towing

  • Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle or trailer. They can throw sparks and start fires.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. You may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning.

The outdoor burning ban is expected to last through Sept. 30, 2018, though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.

Stay connected during wildfire season

Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Led 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 land. DNR is the state’s largest wildfire fighting force.

Burn ban continues in Methow Valley, expires elsewhere

The Stage 1 burn ban in Okanogan County will continue through 9 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19, for the communities of Pateros, Methow, Carlton, Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama.

The Washington Department of Ecology is extending the ban because air quality is not expected to improve in the valley over the weekend, putting the communities 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.

The ban in Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Kittitas, Klickitat, Pend Oreille, Stevens and other parts of Okanogan expires at 10 a.m., Dec. 15.

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.

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.

Stage 1 burn ban extended and expanded Eastern Washington counties

Stagnant weather conditions are expected to continue in Central and Eastern Washington, prompting the Washington Department of Ecology to expand and extend the Stage 1 burn ban.

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at 9:00 am, the burn ban will be expanded to include Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties, and the burn ban will continue in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, and Okanogan counties.

In an effort to prevent poor air quality, the burn ban will remain in effect until further notice.

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 is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. 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.

Conditions prompt Stage 1 burn ban on Dec. 4 for Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties

UNION GAP – A forecast of cooling temperatures and stagnant air is prompting a Stage 1 burn ban for four Central Washington counties starting 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.

All outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces will be prohibited in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan Counties due to poor air quality in the region. Restrictions on burning will continue through 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, when conditions will be reassessed.

The Washington Department of Ecology is calling the burn ban because cooling air followed by stagnant conditions will put communities at risk for unhealthy levels of air pollution. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into peoples’ lungs causing heart and breathing problems.

Under the 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.

Current 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.