State bans all outdoor burning, including campfires

State bans all outdoor burning, including campfires
Signs warn of fire danger near the intersection of Clockum Pass Road and Tarpiscan Road, while flames burn up sagebrush in the background, Saturday, July 27, 2013 near Malaga, Wash. (AP Photo/The Wenatchee World, Don Seabrook)
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The recent dry weather and firefighting ranks that have been stretched thin due to multiple wildfires in our state have led the Commissioner of Public Lands to ban all outdoor fires.

The ban includes campfires in all state, local and private campgrounds, and all forestlands in Washington state, except federal lands, Peter Goldmark said. The ban will remain in effect until Sept. 30.

The ban also prohibits recreational fires and prescribed burns.

“The risk of wildfire is unusually high and the consequences could be catastrophic," Goldmark said in announcing the ban. "We have hundreds of firefighters fighting two major wildfires and numerous smaller fires in Washington State. Our resources are stretched thin."

Weather forecasts indicated a threat of lightning at times across the state this week, which can be a source of wildfires. But Goldmark stresses most fires are caused by human activities.

"Some of the most destructive fire threats to our state’s wildlands and homes in rural areas can be traced to three sources: carelessly tended outdoor fires, indefensible home sites, and sparks caused by equipment or vehicles," Goldmark said.

For More Information:

Incident Information System (InciWeb)
DNR’s Fire Twitter
Department of Natural Resources Page
Read the full text of the burn ban