FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2010
DNR dispatch fielding high number of calls for abandoned campfires
Abandoning a campfire is illegal and costly
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is receiving an unusually high volume of calls reporting abandoned campfires. Calls are coming in from both the public as well as from DNR and U.S. Forest Service patrols.
“We want to thank the public for reporting costly, abandoned fires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “These fires need to be properly put out before they turn into large fires that could place innocent families and property at risk.”
Abandoning a campfire is not only irresponsible, it is illegal. If you come across an abandoned campfire, please take time to put it out. The appropriate steps are: 1) Drown the fire with water, 2) stir the ashes, and 3) check to make sure the ashes are cool to the touch; if not, repeat the steps.
DNR investigates wildfires and takes appropriate enforcement action, including recovering suppression costs, when it identifies people whose negligence causes a wildfire.
In an effort to reduce preventable wildfires, DNR issued a statewide burn ban covering all DNR-protected lands, effective July 15, 2010, through September 30, 2010. The ban includes all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands. During the ban, designated campgrounds may allow campfires in approved fire pits. DNR or the campground may put additional restrictions in place, including a ban on campfires, depending on weather conditions.
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, Communications and Outreach, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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