FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2012
DNR urges fire safety this Fourth of July
Fire prevention highlighted
OLYMPIA – While rain and cooler weather have 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 reminds people to be aware of any fire restrictions wherever they plan to enjoy their holiday.
It is illegal to discharge fireworks on DNR-protected and public lands.
“The major wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico remind us how destructive they can be to our homes and lives,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. “We urge everyone to exercise caution with any fire-related activities this holiday weekend.”
Since January of 2012, DNR has already suppressed approximately 143 fires that have burned nearly 872 acres on DNR-protected lands. Not surprisingly, DNR records show fire danger is highest Saturday and Sunday afternoons when the woods fill up with recreationists. 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.
Beginning July 1, 2012, there will be a statewide burn ban in effect on all DNR-protected lands through September 30, 2012. This means all forestlands in Washington under DNR fire protection; the burn ban does not apply to federal lands.
Campfires are permitted on DNR-managed lands in approved fire pits only.
Fire safety tips
Here are some helpful tips to help keep this a fun and enjoyable weekend:
- It is illegal to discharge fireworks on DNR-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
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 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration juvenile offenders participate in the DNR Correctional Camps Program. 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
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