Burn ban on Washington state lands

Thursday, June 25, 2015

DNR expands burn ban to include western Washington

With heat and drought rapidly increasing fire danger in western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expanded 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.

The statewide burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forest lands under DNR fire protection.
  
It does not include federally owned lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies.

In 2015 so far, there have been 306 wildfire starts throughout the state. Last year’s fire season was the biggest on record in Washington, with the largest state fire ever, the Carlton Complex, destroying more than 250,000 acres. More than 1 million acres of Washington’s landscape has been consumed by wildfire since 2009. 

The statewide burn ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands with the exception of recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal and other campgrounds. Charcoal briquettes may be used only in approved campground fire pits. 

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands.

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.



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