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 September 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.
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.