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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Recreational burn bans in Spokane metro area to be lifted Tuesday

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 19, 2020

Snow gathers on a Smokey Bear fire danger indicator at Spokane Fire District Station Station 81 Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW  (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Snow gathers on a Smokey Bear fire danger indicator at Spokane Fire District Station Station 81 Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Libby Kamrowski/ THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

After wildfires spread through Washington in late summer, restrictions for outdoor recreational fires are set to be lifted Tuesday morning. Burn bans have been in effect since July 20.

The burn restrictions are being lifted for campfires, fire bowls and fire pits, due to cooler and wetter conditions forecast for the coming weeks, said a Spokane County news release. Chimneys, portable outdoor fireplaces, and other patio/deck warmers are allowed as long as approved fuel is used. Approved fuels include dry firewood, briquettes, propane or natural gas. Fires cannot be used for debris disposal.

“We want to thank everyone for their compliance with the burn restrictions this summer,” Spokane Valley Fire Marshal Greg Rogers said in a statement. “We experienced one of the (worst) wildfire seasons in recent history with some difficult conditions. Our hearts go out to those impacted this year. These impacts are always made easier with citizen help and support.”

On public property, recreational fires must be in designated areas and on private property the owner must approve.

Fires cannot exceed a fuel area of 3 feet in diameter or 2 feet in height. Approved fire extinguishing equipment must be on hand and fires need to be attended by a responsible adult. Winds cannot exceed 7 to 10 mph.

Fire marshals did say in a statement they discourage wood burning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Breathing smoke affects the respiratory system and is especially harmful to sensitive populations, including youth, seniors, and those with underlying heart and respiratory conditions,” the statement reads.

“With the horrendous fire losses this year across the nation, I appreciate the effort of our community this summer in practicing recreational safe burning,” wrote Spokane Fire Marshal Lance Dahl. “Please continue this safe burning practice through the fall season.”

More information on burn restrictions and requirements can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.wa.gov/burn-restrictions.

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