As Weather Shifts, Commissioner Franz Lifts DNR’s Statewide Burn Ban
September 20, 2021
Franz’s decision follows the reopening of DNR land east of the Cascades as peak wildfire danger lessens and conditions improve
As weather continues to shift and forecasts project rain on both sides of the Cascades, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has lifted the statewide burn ban on all forest lands under the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) fire protection. Burn restrictions from local jurisdictions or other state agencies may remain in place. Before lighting any fire, check with your local fire district or DNR regional office to see if such restrictions remain in place.
Effective today, Sept. 20, outdoor burning, campfires, the use of charcoal briquettes, and prescribed burns on all forest lands within DNR’s fire protection are permitted once again. The burn ban was initially set to expire on Sept. 30, but diminishing wildfire danger shortened the timeline.
“It’s been a long, challenging wildfire season that began with a historic number of fires that were unrelenting – until now,” Commissioner Franz said. “With Autumn’s rains and other shifting weather conditions, I am optimistic we’ve turned the corner, and I couldn’t be happier to continue lifting safety restrictions as a result.”
Last week, DNR reopened recreation lands east of the Cascades to use by the public. Both the closures and the burn ban had an impact on the wildfire season, reducing the risk of human-caused fires and allowing firefighters to focus on lightning-caused starts and fires already on the landscape.
More than 98 percent of DNR fires were caught during initial attack this fire season – that’s more than 1,100 fires that didn’t require a Type 1, 2, or 3 team to get under control. More than 93 percent of DNR fires were stopped at 10 acres or less, which is better than the 10-year average by six percentage points.
“DNR can and will do everything in our power to fight wildfire and protect Washington communities,” Commissioner Franz said. “But we’ll always need the help of our friends and neighbors across this great state to limit human-caused wildfires, keep our firefighters safe and to ensure we successfully make it through each and every fire season.”