UPDATED, SEPT 7, 4:00 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2011
Fire precaution level for woods workers is raised in Ferry and Okanogan Counties
Burning restrictions still in effect in northeast Washington
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) is increasing in northeast Washington. Effective 12:01 a.m., September 8, the IFPL will increase to a Level II in Zones 678W and 686. Level II, named Partial Hootowl, limits most forest industrial activities to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. only. IFPL in Zone 684 will remain at a Level II.
Zone 686 covers parts of Stevens County Fire District 1 & 2, Lincoln, and Spokane Counties. Zone 678W cover parts of Ferry and Okanogan County. Zone 684 covers parts of Okanogan County.
With the continued hot and dry conditions, this additional restriction is being put in place to minimize the impact of wildfire. The restrictions will affect people who are using equipment in the woods which may include firewood cutting and logging operations. The restriction is in place to reduce the risk of an accidental fire start by mechanical equipment during the hottest and driest part of the day.
Restrictions limit some forest activities to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. This includes the cutting of firewood in the forest.
The following may operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. local time:
- Power saws, except at loading sites
- Cable yarding
- Welding or cutting of metal
Those using chainsaws in the forest, including cutting firewood, must follow certain rules:
- Chainsaws must have approved, working exhaust systems.
- A one-hour fire watch must follow the last use of a chainsaw.
- A fire extinguisher, containing at least 8 ounces of retardant, must be in the immediate vicinity of where the chainsaw is used.
- A shovel must be retrievable in two minutes or less.
DNR reminds everyone that there is a statewide burn ban in effect on all DNR-protected lands. This ban is effective from July 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011. This applies to all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands.
Campgrounds may have additional burn restrictions in place. Always check with your campground host before starting a campfire.
For daily updates on burn restrictions, call 1-800-323-BURN or visit DNR’s webpage showing fire danger and burning restrictions by county: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx .
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for 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 participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting. DNR also has wildfire prevention programs that help people create defensible space around their rural homes and communities, and restrict burning when there is higher wildfire risk.
Janet Pearce, Communication and Outreach, 360-902-1122, email@example.com
Guy Gifford, DNR’s Northeast Region, 509-990-6218, firstname.lastname@example.org
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