DNR bans fires on 13 million forest acres

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources has imposed a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz ordered the ban Thursday. The order affects prescribed burns and the burning of wood debris and charcoal briquettes.

DNR officials said 96 percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions.

“When the risk of wildfire is this high — and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed — we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” Franz said in a Thursday statement.

“I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”

The DNR burn ban does not affect federally-managed lands such as national forests and national parks, which have already restricted outdoor burning.

Clallam and Jefferson counties imposed local burn bans July 1. The fire danger has been upgraded to high in both counties.

Yard-clearing or land-clearing fires are prohibited on the North Olympic Peninsula but recreational fires are permitted within certain limits.

Camp fires can be a maximum of 3 feet in diameter and two feet in height when they are contained within a concrete or metal fire pit in an approved campground or on private property with the owner’s permission.

For more information on local burning restrictions, see www.clallam.net/index.html in Clallam County and www.ejfr.org/ in Jefferson County.

Updates on statewide burn restrictions are available on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/Outdoor Burning.

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