OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has declared a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands from July 1 through Sept. 30.
The burn ban will apply to all forest lands in Washington under DNR fire protection, which does not include federally owned lands. Each year, DNR strives to keep all wildfires under 10 acres. Already this year, DNR has had 57 wildfire starts simply from escaped outdoor burn piles, which have burned approximately 202 acres. "The threat of wildfires from escaped outdoor burning is highest during the hot and dry days of summer," said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. "Wildfires are serious threats to public safety, private property, and wildlife habitat. We must take prudent steps to prevent wildfires and minimize the large expenditures of public resources spent to fight them." The ban will apply to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forest lands with the following exceptions:
• Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and
• DNR-approved prescribed fires, implemented to enhance or restore fire-dependent ecosystems and forest health.
The use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbecues will continue to be allowed under the ban. The burn ban does not apply to federal lands.