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Spokane County issues burn ban

With dry conditions and temperatures soaring into the 90s, officials have issued a burn ban for Spokane County until further notice.

The county made the announcement on a day when fires have dominated headlines. A raging wildfire east of Cle Elum has burned dozens of homes and tens of thousands of acres, forcing hundreds to flee the scene.

Officials in Spokane, Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley and Millwood ordered bans for those cities, as well.

The ban prohibits outdoor recreational burnings with an open flame, including campfires.

Fires in certain enclosed structures, however, are still allowed as long as people use only clean and dry firewood, charcoal briquettes, propane or natural gas. Permissible burnings include backyard barbecues, chimney fires, and fires in portable fireplaces or other outdoor heaters.

Fires are only allowed in designated areas on public land or with approval from a property owner on private land. Extinguishing equipment, such as garden hoses, dirt or sand, must be on hand at all times.

Those who fail to follow the burn restrictions may be fined up to $1,000 or spend up to 90 days in jail.

A burn ban on Department of Natural Resources land in Spokane County has been in effect since July 1 and is set to continue through the end of September.

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