Category Archives: General Air News

EPA Extends Outdoor Burn Ban for Yakama Nation

Continuing Stagnant Air Conditions Continue to Elevate Air Pollution, Yakama Nation Burn Ban Extended Until Further Notice

01/20/2017
Contact Information: 

Suzanne Skadowski (skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov)

206-553-2160

Beginning January 20, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is extending a ban on all outdoor open burning on the Yakama Reservation due to stagnant air conditions and elevated air pollution. This burn ban is extended 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.

DNR Fire Danger Burn Ban in Effect STATE-WIDE

Outdoor burning off limits through Sept. 30
With the arrival of warm summer temperatures and below normal precipitation in western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded its burn ban to cover the entire state.

The statewide burn ban will run from July 29 through Sept. 30. A burn ban for DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington has been in effect since July 2. The ban may be extended or shortened based on fire weather.

“The arrival of summer weather creates greater danger for wildfires, which are serious threats to safety, property and habitat. We have already seen a number of roadside fires start on both sides of the Cascades,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We must be cautious and vigilant to minimize the damage to our state.”
The ban means outdoor burning is prohibited on all forestlands that DNR protects from wildfire. Anyone caught violating the burn ban can face fines. Prescribed ecological burns approved by DNR will be allowed if expressly approved by Commissioner Goldmark.
Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal and other campgrounds are allowed.
DNR’s burn ban does not apply to federally-owned lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies. Counties and local fire districts may have additional burn restrictions.
So far this year, DNR has had 408 wildfire starts throughout the state.
Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands.
For a copy of the Commissioner’s Order, go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-bans.
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.
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DNR Burn Ban Expires but some hazards remain

As a public safety precaution, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) campgrounds at Leader Lake and Rock Creek will remain closed because of damage caused by the Okanogan Complex fire. The Rock Creek picnic area will also remain closed.

Burned-out stumps, fire-weakened trees and concealed pits are dangers that can put recreationists at risk if they venture into these closed campgrounds or other recently burned areas. Distressed and snagged tree areas are especially prone to falling in high winds. Extensive damage to camp structures will likely keep the Rock Creek campground and picnic area closed through next year’s camping season, according to DNR. Pending restoration, Leader Lake may open in early April of next year.

Even though conditions have improved, eastern Washington still has active wildfires. As a result, additional recreation site closures are in place and may change with little notice. Please check for closures before heading out.

Visitors must check at campground entrances or with campground hosts before starting a campfire. See more at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/news/dnr-campground-closures-and-fire-restrictions-continue-ne-washington#sthash.0ZtyrpOp.dpuf

DNR bans all outdoor burning – August 11, 2014

DNR BANS ALL OUTDOOR BURNING
Those Who Start Or Spread Fires Subject To Civil And Criminal Penalties

OLYMPIA – With dangerously hot and dry weather driving fire danger to a new high, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expanding the current statewide burn ban to cover all outdoor burning on all DNR-protected lands, with no exceptions, the agency announced today.

“All indicators are that we’ll continue to have high heat, low humidity, and storm systems with winds and lightning. That means huge potential for wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need to do everything we can to minimize danger to people, homes and habitat.”

Hot and dry conditions since early summer have caused very high fire hazard conditions throughout the state. These conditions have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts. More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.

All outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands is prohibited under this ban, including recreational fires in campgrounds or anywhere on DNR-protected lands. Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected lands. Charcoal briquettes are also not allowed.

In addition, DNR urges extreme caution around any activity that may cause a fire to start. Under these severe fire-hazard conditions, logging operations, land clearing, road and utility right-of-way maintenance, use of spark-emitting equipment, and other activities that create a high risk of fire ignition should be drastically curtailed.

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 statewide burn ban will run through September 30, 2014. It applies to all lands under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands.

DNR’s Wildfire Mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, 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 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, adult offenders from the Department of Corrections and juvenile offenders from the Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov
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DNR Press release – http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/News/Pages/2014_08_11_burnbans_nr.aspx