Category Archives: Ecology Central Regional Office

Multiple Counties impose ban on debris burning starting May 8, 2019

With temperatures expected to be above normal this weekend, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced an increase in fire danger rating on DNR-protected lands in southwest Washington.

“Fire season is here. These hot temperatures can rob our forests of moisture, setting the stage for more wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “While we can’t do anything to stop fires started by natural causes, we all play a role in preventing wildfires while enjoying the outdoors. Make sure to douse your campfires, don’t park in dry grass and tighten tow chains so they don’t drag on roadways.”

As of midnight last night, Thurston, Mason, Pierce, King, Kitsap, Skamania, Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties in Western Washington have imposed a temporary ban on debris burning in these counties. At the same time, fire danger in all those counties increased from low to moderate. Other than the southern portions of Garfield, Columbia, and Asotin Counties (i.e. the Blue Mountains), all eastern Washington Counties are also at Moderate Fire Danger.

The forecasted combination of dry landscape and warm weather has fire officials concerned as the weekend approaches. Current conditions are drier than normal, and grasses, brush, and trees are unusually receptive to fire starts.

Debris burning is not allowed within any  MODERATE fire danger county. Campfires may be allowed in approved designated campgrounds. Always check with local campground hosts before lighting a campfire.

Target shooting is currently allowed during the day on most DNR-managed lands in areas with an unobstructed, earth backstop that can safely stop all bullets.

Those who do target shooting are urged to pack out all shells, brass, paper, and other debris. Exploding targets and fireworks are not allowed on DNR-protected lands.

Check https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ for any changes in fire danger.

 

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, with more than 800 permanent DNR employees available and another 550 seasonal firefighters hired for the summer season.

 

EPA Declares Outdoor Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation

(Seattle –Wednesday November 28, 2018) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 has called for a burn ban on all outdoor open burning on the Yakama Reservation due to stagnant air conditions and elevated air pollution, until further notice.

The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning—including camping and recreational fires—in all areas within external reservation boundaries regardless of ownership or tribal membership. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the burn ban. For areas outside reservation boundaries, please contact your local clean air agency, fire department, or the Washington State Department of Ecology.

EPA requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution as much as possible, including driving and idling of vehicles.

Air pollution can harm your health and can have lasting effects. Community cooperation with the ban will help people who are most at risk, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with asthma or difficulty breathing, diabetes, heart problems or otherwise compromised health. These sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible. Under the most severe pollution levels all residents should restrict their activities.

The burn ban is effective immediately. This burn ban may be downgraded or removed depending on air quality and weather conditions. Please check our website for the latest information: https://www.epa.gov/farr

# # #

To check conditions in your area, go to http://www.airnow.gov/ .

For current burn ban status, please visit https://waburnbans.net/, the tribal air quality office, or the EPA at 1-800-424-4372, email to R10_farrhotline@epa.gov.

Find more information online, go to https://www.epa.gov/farr

Burn ban expires for Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties

A Stage 1 burn ban in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties expires at 4 p.m., Monday, Nov 26, 2018, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

Stage 1 burn ban ends 10 a.m. Thursday for Klickitat, Ferry, Pend Oreille & Stevens counties

The Washington Department of Ecology is lifting burn bans in Klickitat, Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov 22, because air quality has improved in these areas.

However, stagnant conditions and poor air quality persist in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties, where restrictions on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces remain in place until further notice.

Air monitoring in these north central Washington counties shows elevated levels of pollution. Lack of good ventilation means smoke won’t clear out, putting communities are at risk of being exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. Inhaling fine particles from wood smoke can cause 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 is 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.