FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2011
DNR to end statewide burn ban
Rain and low temps ease fire danger
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the statewide burn ban on DNR-protected lands will expire October 1, 2011. Recent rainfall and moderating temperatures have reduced fire danger in most areas of the state. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s October 2011 outlook calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
Although the statewide burn ban will expire, some areas of the state remain dry, and people need to follow the conditions of their burning permits. Check DNR’s burn-risk website at http://bit.ly/nonie or call 1-800-323-BURN for any local burning restrictions. DNR urges continued caution with all potential fire sources, including tools, vehicles, camp stoves and other equipment and activities. As of October 1, 2011, forest landowners may conduct silvicultural burning subject to the conditions of their written burning permit or under DNR rules for burning without a permit.
The burn ban was ordered on July 1, 2011 to reduce the number of wildfires caused by escaped debris burns and recreational fires on forestland. These fires can cause extensive damage to natural resources and property and can cost the state millions of dollars in fire suppression costs.
This year was the second time that Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark issued a Commissioner’s Order calling for a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands.
Burn barrels illegal
The use of burn barrels in Washington State is illegal. Backyard fires that get out of control are a leading cause of wildfires caused by people. Those who burn fires illegally are held responsible for the cost of putting out the wildfire caused by their outdoor burning.
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 Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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