PORT ANGELES — Get out the grills.
Both Clallam and Jefferson counties have downgraded their burn bans to allow campfires in established fire rings on private property and in campgrounds.
Annette Warren, Clallam County fire marshal, and Bill Beezley, spokesman for East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, announced the change Thursday, just in time for the Labor Day weekend.
“This decision was made based on recommendations of the local fire districts as weather conditions have slightly eased the fire danger in Western Washington,” Warren said in a news release.
The summer burn ban will remain in effect until further notice, she said.
Campfires and charcoal briquettes are now allowed, but the regular summer burn ban — which bans burning yard debris — is still in effect and will likely last until Sept. 30, Beezley said.
Complete burn bans — which prohibit any kind of outdoor burning, including campfires and grilling with charcoal — were instituted across the North Olympic Peninsula on Aug. 18, when the state Department of Natural Resources raised the fire risk in the region from moderate to high.
Fire danger remained high in Clallam and Jefferson counties Thursday, according to the state Department of Natural Resources burn risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger.
Both counties followed the lead of the state Department of Natural Resources, which reduced campfire restrictions on state lands west of the Cascade Mountains on Thursday.
The campfire prohibition continues on DNR-protected lands across Eastern Washington.
The statewide ban on other outdoor burning, such as debris burning, also continues.
“With this wetter weather in Western Washington, easing the burn ban in time to permit campfires over Labor Day weekend is the right thing to do,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who oversees DNR.
“There is still significant fire risk on the east side of the Cascades, however, so we can’t permit campfires there,” Goldmark said.
“We ask the public to help firefighters by observing the burn ban, with this exception for west-side campfires in approved firepits.”