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Sports >  Outdoors

Washington Department of Natural Resources lifts statewide burn ban

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 22, 2021

Members of the Scoggin Hole big game camp gather around the campfire at the site the family has occupied in the Blue Mountains each big-game season since for eight decades and five generations.  (COURTESY PHOTO)
Members of the Scoggin Hole big game camp gather around the campfire at the site the family has occupied in the Blue Mountains each big-game season since for eight decades and five generations. (COURTESY PHOTO)

The Washington Department of Natural Resources lifted a statewide burn ban, Monday. 

The decision follows the reopening of DNR lands east of the Cascades last week and was announced in an agency news release. A burn ban on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lands east of the Cascades will remain in place through September, according to an agency spokesperson.

The WDFW ban prohibits:  

  • Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.
  • The discharge of firearms for target-shooting or other purposes by anyone not engaged in lawful hunting.
  • Welding and operating chainsaws, including the use of an acetylene torch or other open flame.
  • Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

The DNR news release is copied in full below:

As Weather Shifts, Commissioner Franz Lifts DNR’s Statewide Burn Ban

Franz’s decision follows the reopening of DNR land east of the Cascades as peak wildfire danger lessens and conditions improve

OLYMPIA – As weather continues to shift and forecasts project rain on both sides of the Cascades, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has lifted the statewide burn ban on all forest lands under the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) fire protection.

Effective today, Sept. 20, outdoor burning, campfires, the use of charcoal briquettes, and prescribed burns on all forest lands within DNR’s fire protection are permitted once again. The burn ban was initially set to expire on Sept. 30, but diminishing wildfire danger shortened the timeline.

“It’s been a long, challenging wildfire season that began with a historic number of fires that were unrelenting – until now,” Commissioner Franz said. “With Autumn’s rains and other shifting weather conditions, I am optimistic we’ve turned the corner, and I couldn’t be happier to continue lifting safety restrictions as a result.”

Last week, DNR reopened recreation lands east of the Cascades to use by the public. Both the closures and the burn ban had an impact on the wildfire season, reducing the risk of human-caused fires and allowing firefighters to focus on lightning-caused starts and fires already on the landscape.

More than 98 percent of DNR fires were caught during initial attack this fire season – that’s more than 1,100 fires that didn’t require a Type 1, 2, or 3 team to get under control. More than 93 percent of DNR fires were stopped at 10 acres or less, which is better than the 10-year average by six percentage points.

“DNR can and will do everything in our power to fight wildfire and protect Washington communities,” Commissioner Franz said. “But we’ll always need the help of our friends and neighbors across this great state to limit human-caused wildfires, keep our firefighters safe and to ensure we successfully make it through each and every fire season.”

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