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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Early fire season prompts burn bans across Eastern Washington

Outdoor fires under close watch; backyard grills, fireplaces OK

City, county and state officials are tightening fire restrictions due to hot and dry conditions across Eastern Washington.

The restrictions come after a rash of brush fires that have sprung up in and around Spokane in recent weeks, well ahead of the typical fire season.

As of today, campfires are prohibited in unincorporated areas of Spokane County. In the city of Spokane, they can be no larger than 3 feet in diameter or 2 feet in height.

Outdoor burning is banned on all forest land east of the Cascade Mountains, with the exception of campfires in some approved fire pits, the state Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.

Backyard grills, portable outdoor fireplaces and patio warmers with chimneys are still permitted in the county. Approved fuels include clean and dry firewood, charcoal briquettes, propane and natural gas.

Fire officials urge people to have garden hoses, dirt, sand, buckets and shovels on hand, and leave 25 feet of clearance around campfires, to keep them under control.

The city and county restrictions are effective until further notice; the state restrictions are slated to run through September. Illegal burning or failure to try putting out dangerous fires may result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

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