FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009
Northeast Washington fire danger eases but still high
Fire season not over, burning restrictions still in effect
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the fire danger rating in Okanogan County will drop from ‘very high’ to ‘high’ at 12:01 a.m., Friday, September 18, 2009.
The fire danger rating in Ferry, Lincoln, Spokane, and Stevens counties remains at the ‘high’ level, and the fire danger rating in Pend Oreille County at a ‘moderate’ level. All burning is still prohibited in all these counties except for campfires in approved designated campgrounds.
For woods workers, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) has been lowered from a Level II to a Level I in Zone 684. Zones 678E, 678W, 685, 686, 687, and 688 remain a Level I.
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.
Daily updates on burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution levels are available on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov , and then go to Fire Information and Prevention. Also call for burn restrictions at 1-800-323-BURN. To find out about burn restrictions on U.S. Forest Service lands, call 509-664-9200.
Fire season not over
While there is a drop in the extreme fire danger ratings, the potential for wildfire starts still exists. Currently there are multiple wildfires burning in the northeastern part of the state. Citizens need to continue to follow all outdoor burning regulations and observe their county’s permit requirements for outdoor burning.
Campfires are only allowed in approved designated campgrounds. The hunting season is underway and DNR reminds the public to not leave campfires unattended, and to use water and a shovel to put out the fire before leaving a campsite.
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: Guy Gifford, DNR NE Region, 509-990-6218, firstname.lastname@example.org .
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