Expanded Burn Restrictions as Fire Danger Increases in Eastern Washington
May 27, 2021
Dry fuels, warm temps increase fire danger
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in cooperation with partner agencies, is adding new burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington. The new restrictions are a response to increasing fire danger and an increase in fires caused by people burning debris outdoors.
Historically dry conditions in March and April have prompted a drought advisory from Dept. of Ecology for most of the state, including all areas east of the Cascade Mountains, portions of southwest Washington and the coast. For June, July and August, the outlook is drier and warmer than normal.
The following additional restrictions will be implemented in parts of eastern Washington, effective Friday, May 28, 2021:
- Rule burning (small debris disposal fires) is limited to a 4-foot diameter pile in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Chelan, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Upper Yakima and Upper Basin outside of Spokane County and South of Hwy 2.
Burn restrictions still in place:
- Campfires are NOT allowed except in approved designated campgrounds in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Foothills, and Upper Basin in Spokane, and portions of Lincoln County north of Hwy. 2.
- Rule burning is still NOT allowed in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Foothills and Upper Basin in Spokane and portions of Lincoln County north of Hwy. 2.
Fire danger will increase in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas effective Friday, May 28, 2021:
- Fire danger will increase from moderate to high in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Lower Basin
- Fire danger will increase from low to moderate in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Chelan, Lower Yakima, Methow and Upper Yakima.
Residents can find their Fire Danger Rating Area online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/
The best way to be certain a burn pile is fully extinguished is to dig into the ash and feel the area with the back of your hand to make sure there is no heat left. It is common for rain to create a cap over the ash, with heat remaining inside. Winds can weaken the cap and allow the pile to reignite. Campfires should be doused with water and stirred until all coals are completely extinguished and cool to the touch.
A misdemeanor citation will be issued to those who do not comply with a DNR burn restriction. A misdemeanor citation will also be issued for people who do not follow the rules and conditions of their burn permits. If proven negligent, the offender will be billed for the fire suppression costs.
Daily updates on burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/ifpl/.