FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2012
Fire season heating up
Outlook for hotter and dryer weather
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced this weekend is going to be very hot and dry in Washington State.
“We need people throughout Washington to be especially cautious when playing or working outdoors this weekend,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “With the hot, dry conditions, our landscape is ripe for wildfire.”
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.
The first part of August often brings an increase in wildfire outbreaks. Hot and dry conditions on both sides of the Cascades are expected to substantially increase fire risk levels over the weekend.
So far this year, there have been more than 325 wildfires on the 12.7 million acres of public and private lands DNR protects from wildfire.
Stay connected during wildfire season
Statewide burn ban
In an effort to reduce human-caused wildfires, DNR issued a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands, effective July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012. The ban includes all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands. Campgrounds may have additional burn restrictions in place. Campers should check with their campground host before starting a campfire.
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: Bryan Flint, Communications and Outreach Director, 360-902-1023, firstname.lastname@example.org
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