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Cities, county restrict burning

Bans don’t affect barbecues, patio warmers

The arrival of the region’s dry season has brought burning restrictions in the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood and in unincorporated areas of Spokane County.

City fire marshals Thursday issued a series of restrictions on outdoor burning, and banned unauthorized open burning or recreational fires.

Backyard barbecues, deck warmers and gas-fired appliances are still allowed, along with fires in campgrounds where permitted.

Approved fires must be in designated areas or on private property with the owner’s approval.

Fires must be attended by a responsible adult who is knowledgeable about the use of a garden hose, dirt, sand, bucket, shovel or fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

Firefighting tools must be on hand and ready to use.

Any fires must be at least 15 feet away from combustibles or structures.

Winds must be less than 7 mph, and air quality must be in the “green” category for legal burning.

Ash must be safely disposed of.

Spokane County officials issued a similar restriction for all unauthorized open burning, including field burning and recreational fires. The ban does not affect use of barbecues, patio warmers or gas-fired cooking devices.

Violations in the cities and county can result in a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday increased the fire danger to high in Spokane, Lincoln and Okanogan counties and moderate in Pend Oreille, Stevens and Ferry counties.

DNR is prohibiting burning on all DNR and DNR-protected lands until further notice, although recreational fires in approved pits and barbecues and gas-fired cooking appliances are still allowed.


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