WA State Department of Natural Resources

State Officials Warn of Increased Wildfire Risks

With the Labor Day holiday weekend fast approaching, the WA State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging everyone to please take responsibility for their actions when playing or working outdoors.

Fire danger rating for Grays Harbor County is High

Effective 12:01 A.M. Friday, July 14th, 2017, The Grays Harbor County Fire Marshals’ Office, Fire Districts and Fire Departments will be enacting restrictions on outdoor burning.

All residential burning, along with land clearing burning will be prohibited in Grays Harbor until further notice.

Statewide:

Effective August 2, 2017 at 12:01 A.M. fire restrictions are enacted on all WA State Department of Natural Resources protected lands within the county. All debris burning is suspended. Campfires are allowed on DNR protected lands however you must have the landowner’s permission. Fires can be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. Incendiary devices such as fireworks, exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition are illegal on all DNR protected lands. These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

Check with your local fire district, and the Olympic Region Clean Air Authority for additional burn restrictions: https://waburnbans.net and www.orcaa.org.

View fire restrictions on the state’s Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/

Most of Washington has seen temperatures higher than normal throughout the summer, with some areas of eastern Washington having gone more than 100 days without precipitation. The combination of heat and lack of precipitation makes forests and grasslands more vulnerable to wildfire and can produce more extreme fire behavior.

“While Labor Day usually marks the end of summer, we’ve got a lot of the fire season left to go. We’re not seeing any relief from the hot, dry summer we’ve had anytime soon, creating conditions that could lead to explosive wildfire growth,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “So far this season, our firefighters have done a great job keeping fires small, but they’ve been stretched thin all summer, due to regional fire activity. I ask everyone to give them a break and be very aware of any activities that may spark new fires.”

WA State Department of Natural Resources has one of the state’s top wildland firefighting teams ready for deployment over the weekend. Crews, fire engines, helicopters and other firefighting aircraft are being pre-deployed to key locations around the state to provide quick response as new fires develop.

This year, 88 percent of Washington wildfires have been human-caused. As of Aug. 28, 2017, DNR has responded to 598 wildfires this year. Here is a comparisons of the last 5 years:

  • 2012 – 476 fires for 15,181 acres
  • 2013 – 87 fires for 89,992 acres
  • 2014 – 676 fires for 191,431 acres
  • 2015 – 873 fires for 326,231 acres
  • 2016 – 676 fires for 14,246 acres

WA State Department of Natural Resources Recreation

Campfires in eastern Washington are currently prohibited. In western Washington, please check with local campground hosts to see if you can have a campfire this holiday weekend.

  • Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.

Vehicles and Towing

  • Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle or trailer. They can throw sparks and start fires.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. You may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.

WA State Department of Natural Resources No Drone Zone

Please help keep our firefighters safe by not flying drones around wildfires. Learn more about the unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and their interference with wildfire suppression efforts from the National Interagency Fire Center. #IfYouFlyWeCant

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map at dnr.wa.gov/ifpl.

Those who spot illegal campfires or smoke are urged to call 911 immediately.

For more information on local fire restrictions

WA State Department of Natural Resources Wildfire Mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. WA State Department of Natural Resources is the state’s largest on-call fire department and participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Repost by the Quinault Division of Natural Resources

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