FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2009
High winds and outdoor burning don’t mix
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging people to be especially careful when burning yard or forest debris in the next several days. High wind, predicted in the northeast region, is the third leading cause of escaped debris fires.
Even though fire season has almost ended, landowners who are burning outdoors need to be alert if wind starts to pick up. Debris burning is not allowed when winds start to sway trees, which is about seven miles per hour. If winds increase while burning, immediately extinguish the fire completely with water and a shovel.
Landowners also are required to have a fire break around the fire – a fire break is an area around the burn pile that is cleared to bare soil, which is a minimum of 18” wide. The lack of a fire break is the number one reason that burn piles escape.
In Washington, outdoor burning is a leading cause of wildfire ignitions. Residents should be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions, especially if burning outdoors.
Before burning check local weather to ensure winds will be low; call 1-800-323-burn for local burning conditions.
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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