Category Archives: SWCAA

Southwest Clean Air Agency

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.

Stage II Burn Ban Lifted for Clark County

Clark County Stage 2 Burn Ban Lifting

VANCOUVER, WA. – Due to improved air quality and a forecast calling for increasing east winds through the gorge, the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is removing the Burn Ban currently in place for Clark County. Residents may once again use their wood stoves and fireplaces, but are asked to burn as cleanly as possible. Weather forecasters expect the inversions to lift on Friday and east winds from the gorge to increase improving ventilation in the metro area. SWCAA sincerely thanks all who observed the burn ban.

For those who heat with wood, please remember that it is always illegal to produce excess chimney smoke and to smoke out your neighbor. We ask that if people must burn, that they use only dry, seasoned firewood and follow clean burning practices. You are burning properly when you do not see any smoke coming from your chimney. For more information about cleaner wood burning techniques, or to subscribe for email notification of burn bans and advisories please visit www.swcleanair.org/burnclean.html.

In areas of Clark County where burning has not been permanently banned, outdoor burning will again be allowed with the proper permits. However, burning at any time adds to the air pollution levels in your local community, and residents are encouraged to seek alternatives to burning throughout the year. When outdoor burning does take place please note that only natural vegetation may be burned and a smoke nuisance may not be caused. Burn permits require residents to call the burn line prior to burning to ensure that a burn ban is not in effect. State law prohibits the burning of garbage, plastics, home-repair debris, and other prohibited materials at any time. Burn barrels of any kind are also prohibited by state law.

 

Stage II Burn Ban in Clark County

January 25, 2017

Calm winds and Cold Nights Lead to a Stage 2 Burn Ban for Clark County The use of all fireplaces, inserts, wood stoves and pellet stoves is prohibited until air quality improves. Households without an alternative source of heat are exempt.

Due to cold nights, poor ventilation and increasing levels of fine particle air pollution in Clark County, the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is issuing a Stage 2 Burn Ban effective immediately throughout Clark County. Cold nights followed by limited daytime ventilation and dispersion have caused fine particle air pollution levels to persistently rise toward the federal health-based standard. These conditions are forecast to continue through Saturday and possibly beyond. The use of all fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, and pellet stoves is prohibited until further notice. If wood burning is your only source of heat, you are exempt from this curtailment and we ask that you burn as clean as possible. All outdoor burning is also prohibited during this Stage 2 Burn Ban.

This county wide Stage 2 Burn Ban will remain in effect until monitors and weather forecasts indicate improved ventilation and clearing. To sign up to receive e-mail notifications of these burn bans or for clean burning techniques, visit www.swcleanair.org.

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.