FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2010
Forests and fireworks don’t mix
DNR highlights the importance of fire prevention this Fourth of July holiday
OLYMPIA – While rain and cooler weather has dominated the early fire season, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants people to remember that there is still fire risk. As vegetation dries out, fires can quickly ignite, so DNR is reminding people to be aware of any fire restrictions where they are enjoying their holiday. Fireworks are prohibited from state trust lands.
“I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy Washington’s amazing recreation opportunities over their holiday weekend, but please be careful around fire,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
So far, there have been more than 71 wildfires on the public and private lands DNR protects from wildfire. Not surprisingly, DNR records show fire danger is highest Saturday and Sunday afternoons when the woods fill up with recreationists and woodcutters. Unattended campfires, fireworks, faulty vehicle or motorcycle mufflers, careless disposal of cigarettes, and outdoor burning are among the common sources of wildfire starts in Washington State.
According to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which coordinates multi-agency wildfire response in the Pacific Northwest, the extreme northern and eastern portions of Washington will experience above-normal temperatures and less rain this summer from mid-July through August. Other parts of Washington will experience a drier-than-normal weather pattern July through September.
Fire safety tips
Here are some helpful tips to help keep this a fun and enjoyable weekend:
- Before discharging fireworks, check to see if they are allowed in that location. It is illegal to discharge fireworks on state-protected and public lands;
- Never leave a campfire unattended, and be sure it is completely out before leaving the area;
- Be sure recreational vehicles have operating spark arresters;
- Do not park any vehicles in dry, grassy areas as the heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
Stay connected during wildfire season
• DNR’s Fire Twitter: http://twitter.com/waDNR_fire
• DNR Fire Update: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/rp_fire_currentfireinfodailyupdates.pdf
• Incident Information System (InciWeb): http://www.inciweb.org/state/49
**Attention Radio Editors: Download audio Public Service Announcements on wildfire prevention from Commissioner Goldmark. Scripts also are available.
PSA for 4th of July Holiday:
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Environmental Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #