Burn ban archives for: Thurston County

Stage 1 Burn Ban called for Thurston County

A Stage One Burn Ban is being called for Thurston County effective 4 p.m. today (Friday, Nov. 27, 2015) and continuing until conditions warrant a change.

Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.

A system of stable weather conditions over Western Washington, coupled with cold overnight temperatures has resulted in air pollution levels climbing enough to raise concerns about the air quality and its impacts on health. A change in weather will be needed to restore cleaner air quality, yet that’s not forecast to occur until next week at the earliest.

While pollution levels in Thurston County warrants the Stage One Ban, other counties within the jurisdiction of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) haven’t reached that level. To avoid bans in their areas, the residents of Mason, Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson Counties are asked to voluntarily refrain from all outdoor burning, and to use safe alternatives to wood heat if possible.

Of particular concern are fine particles released by smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.

Olympic Region Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to determine when the burn ban can be lifted. In the meantime, here are some other things people can do to help protect the air we breathe:

  • If you have a certified wood stove or fireplace insert, make sure you are using it properly so you don’t produce excess chimney smoke. Excess smoke is always illegal. To learn more about clean burning techniques or upgrading to a certified, pellet, natural gas or propane stove, visithttp://www.epa.gov/burnwise/
  • To determine if your stove is certified, visit www.orcaa.org.
  • Limit your driving as much as possible, since vehicles are a big source of air pollution year round. Check air-quality forecasts and current conditions at www.orcaa.org.

For more information about Burn Ban regulations, you may refer to Chapter 173-433 of the Washington Administrative Code.


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

Thurston County Fire Danger Burn Ban Effective June 23, 2015

Fire officials strongly discourage fireworks

Thurston County officials are issuing a countywide burn ban that will take effect at 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 23, until further notice. The burn ban covers all of unincorporated Thurston County. Thurston County cities and designated urban growth areas already have a permanent outdoor burn ban in place.

The burn ban decision comes as weather forecasters predict record high temperatures coming later this week along with the possibility of lightning strikes, but little or no precipitation.

Applicability: The countywide ban on outdoor burning applies to all land clearing and yard debris burning. However, residents in the unincorporated county outside of the urban growth areas will still be able to enjoy small recreational fires in fire pits, as well as cooking with outdoor barbeques and stoves. The use of self-contained camp stoves is strongly encouraged as an alternative to recreational fires. All small recreational fires must meet the following criteria:

  • Fires must be contained in a metal or concrete fire pit like those that are typically used at campgrounds. These fires cannot be used for debris disposal.
  • Fires must be only three feet in diameter or smaller.
  • Fires must be located in a spot that is completely clear of vegetation. The fire must be at least 10 feet away from any vegetation, 25 feet away from any structure or building, and overhanging branches must be at least 20 feet above the fire.
  • Fires must be attended at all times by an alert individual. All individuals attending fires must be able to extinguish the fire with a readily available shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water, or with a readily available water hose that is connected and charged.
  • Fires must be completely extinguished by pouring water or moist soil on the fire and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.
  • There is no burning at all when winds exceed 5 mph.

Read the Thurston County press release

DNR Expands Burn Ban to Include Western Washington, Effective June 22, 2015

OLYMPIA – With heat and drought rapidly increasing fire danger in western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is today expanding last week’s burn ban from DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington to include those west of the Cascades. The statewide burn ban will run from June 22 through September 30, 2015.

Read the press release at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/News/Pages/2015_06_22_burnban_nr.aspx

Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov