Burn Bans Prohibit Outdoor Burning, Smoking as Fires Rage

By The Chronicle

As fires burn across the state, blanketing the region in a dense cloud of smoke, the state Department of Natural Resources has expanded its burn ban to prohibit all outdoor burning.

“Wildfire and smoke is affecting every community around the state as we see the hot, dry summer take its toll on our forests,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz in a statement. “Without any relief from this weather in the foreseeable future and with our firefighters spread across the Northwest, we can no longer allow burning anywhere in Washington.”

On Tuesday, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest also sent out a notice that fires and smoking are not prohibited in the forest.

Restrictions apply to all National Forest system lands within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Up until now, the DNR has been implementing burn restrictions by individual regions and their conditions on land that it protects.

On Labor Day, DNR firefighters responded to 21 new fires.

The new restrictions prohibit burning on all forestlands that are protected by the DNR. People caught violating the ban face fines.

Prescribed ecological burns may be approved in rare instances by Franz.

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns or tracer ammunition are always illegal on DNR protected land.