Mason County included in burn ban order

The state has ordered a burn ban in Mason County effective Thursday morning.

This is a phase 1 ban which means forest and yard debris burning is no longer allowed. While the ban applies to incorporated and unincorporated areas, it does not apply to federal forests or national parks.

The ban also includes King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

A phase 1 ban does allow recreational campfires in approved fire pits if they are on private land with the landowner's permission.

Approved campfires must also:

· Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds

· Grow no larger than three feet across

· Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches

· Be attended at all times by an alert individual with immediate access to a shovel and either five gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.

The phase 1 burn ban takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 15, 2010 and will run through September 30, 2010.