August 15, 2012 in City

County bans most outdoor burning

By The Spokesman-Review

With dry conditions and temperatures soaring into the 90s, outdoor burning across much of Spokane County has been banned until further notice.

Spokane County officials made the announcement on a day when wildfires 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. Violating the burn ban in unincorporated areas of Spokane County could lead to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

Officials in Spokane, Liberty Lake, Spokane Valley and Millwood ordered burn bans in their 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 burning includes backyard barbecues, chiminea 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.

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.

The fifth paragraph in this story has been edited to correct an error.

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