FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2011
Summer burn ban to take place on all DNR-protected lands
In effect July 1 – September 30, 2011
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced there will be a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands July 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011. This means all forestlands in Washington under DNR fire protection; the burn ban does not apply to federal lands.
The threat of wildfires from escaped outdoor burning is high during the summer months due to dry forest vegetation. Each year, DNR strives to keep all wildfires under 10 acres. Last year, DNR had 71 wildfire starts simply from escaped outdoor burn piles, which burned approximately 153 acres.
“Wildfires are dangerous for people and property and result in large expenditures of public funding that can be avoided through prevention,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
The ban will apply to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands, including currently permitted burns, with the following exceptions:
- Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and
- DNR-approved prescribed fires, implemented to enhance or restore fire-dependent ecosystems and forest health, when enhancement and restoration by prescribed fire can only be accomplished successfully during the period of time from July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, and
- As approved in writing by DNR when there are compelling reasons for an exception.
The use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.
When implemented, the burn ban will take precedence over and supersede all other burn bans currently in effect on DNR-protected forestlands. The burn ban does not apply to federal lands.
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. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with over 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. Additionally, Department of Correction inmates participate in the DNR correctional camps program. 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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