July 31, 2013
Media covering wildfires urged to respect roadblocks and areas closed for public safety
Fire management teams have staff who can escort reporters to fire lines and other off-limits areas during wildfires
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges members of the media who are reporting on wildfire incidents to respect roadblocks and area closures established for public and firefighters’ safety.
In recent days, residents near wildfire incidents, including the Mile Marker 28 Fire and the Colockum Tarps Fire, have alerted law enforcement officials to members of the news media entering closed areas without permission.
Each wildfire incident has one or more information officers responsible to escort members of the media to wildfire lines and other closed areas when it is safe to do so. Fire information officers work closely with their incident commanders to determine which closed areas may be safe for media to access with an official escort. County and state law enforcement officers who establish evacuation areas and staff road blocks may choose to cite or arrest those who evade roadblocks and enter closed areas.
Reporters, photographers and others who are covering a wildfire incident are urged to report to the primary staging facility for the incident where they will find a public information team that can provide up-to-date information about fire, arrange interviews and, if safe, escort them into closed areas.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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