Fire Danger Increases, Driving Up More Burn Restrictions in Eastern Washington
News Date: 
June 3, 2021
   

Possible high winds, low humidity could also reignite old debris piles

 
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partners are expanding burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington as the state’s landscape dries and wildfire risk increases. Debris burn piles that were left unattended or improperly extinguished have caused 208 fires – accounting for more than half of all DNR fires in 2021.
 
Drought continues to be the driving factor for heightened wildfire concerns. This year, DNR has already experienced more than 410 fires statewide, compared to a 10-year average of 158 at this point in the year.
 
Additional burn restrictions effective Friday, June 4, 2021:
  • Permit burning is NOT allowed in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:  Chelan, Foothills, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Upper Basin and Upper Yakima.
Fire danger will increase in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas effective Friday, June 4, 2021:  
  • Fire danger will increase from low to moderate in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:  Kaniksu.
Residents can find their Fire Danger Rating Area online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/
 
Individuals who start fires should ensure that their burn piles are fully extinguished by digging into the ash and feeling the area 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/.
 
The following burn restrictions remain in place:   
  • Campfires are NOT allowed except in approved designated campgrounds in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:  Foothills, Upper Basin in Spokane County and Lincoln County north of Hwy 2 and Valley inside Okanogan County.
  • Rule burning (small debris disposal fires) 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.
  • 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 in Lincoln County and Valley outside Okanogan County.
The following fire danger ratings remain unchanged:
  • Fire danger rating will remain moderate in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:  Chelan, Foothills, Highlands, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Methow, Upper Basin, Upper Yakima and Valley.
  • Fire danger rating will remain high in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas:  Lower Basin.
 
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Cell: 360-688-3047