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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.
Recreational and open burning is not allowed, including backyard fire pits, starting Monday. The restrictions are intended to prevent the outbreak of fires, and the smoke that comes with them.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department is encouraging residents to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.
The city of Spokane may experience lightning strikes and gusty winds from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, causing elevated wildfire conditions and a Red Flag warning, issued by the National Weather Service in Spokane.
Starting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, a fire weather watch is in effect until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Cities and unincorporated areas in Spokane County will have outdoor burning restrictions in place starting Wednesday as fire danger increases.
The state Department of Natural Resources will prohibit outdoor burning statewide effective Thursday.
Several counties in Western Washington have announced burn bans effective later this week.
Fire danger is still listed as high in most of Eastern Washington despite the welcome rain that has been falling this week.
Despite weeks of hot and dry weather and frequent reminders that a burn ban is in place, people are still not getting the message.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a rare statewide air quality advisory, running through 10 a.m. Thursday, banning all open burning statewide, including campfires.
Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency ordered a stage 1 burning ban on Friday
Plows dug deeper into residential areas on Thursday with Browne’s Addition getting a visit from crews. An order to move vehicles off streets during plowing in Browne’s Addition resulted in towing those who didn’t comply.
Even though the fire danger in Spokane County increased from high to very high this week, people are still having recreational fires in their back yards in violation of the burn ban currently in place.
Camp fires and other outdoor burning have been banned in most of Spokane County following recent high temperatures that have dried out grasses and other fuels.
The fire danger has increased to “high” in Spokane and Okanogan Counties, leading the Department of Natural Resources to ban campfires at Leader Lake Campground in Okanogan County.
Spokane Valley Fire Department crews have been dealing with fires deliberately started by people in defiance of a nearly statewide burn ban, which started earlier than ever this year thanks to hot, dry weather. A fire was reported under a bridge just east of Pines Road and south of Trent Avenue a little before 10 p.m. on July 19. Firefighters discovered what appeared to be a bonfire.
Fourth of July fireworks didn’t play a big role in fires in the Spokane Valley area this year, but discarded cigarettes have been an issue, said Melanie Rose, Spokane Valley Fire Department spokeswoman. Several fires have been reported in the Dishman Hills Natural Area recently and all were caused by either cigarettes or transient campfires, Rose said. “Hikers who are smoking, please discard your cigarettes appropriately,” Rose said.
A burn ban is in place that makes bonfires and fires in fire pits illegal, but that apparently hasn’t stopped people from lighting a match. One of several illegal outdoor fires responded to last week by the Spokane Valley Fire Department was a bonfire built on the shore of the Spokane River near the 16600 block of East Indiana Avenue on Sunday. A resident in a nearby apartment building saw the family building the fire and called it in.
The Department of Natural Resources has issued a burn ban on all forest land in Washington.