DNR enacts early burn ban in Eastern Washington
Last updated 4/9/2020 at 12:45pm
OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources is implementing burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in Eastern Washington, beginning Friday, April 10. DNR officials cited a front scheduled to pass through the region the next couple of days creating dry conditions and forecasted gusty winds as a reason for instituting the ban earlier than normal.
According to an April 9, news release, all outdoor burning, which includes permit and rule burning (small debris disposal fires), is not allowed in eastern Washington. This includes the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Blue Mountain Grass and Brush, Chelan, Foothills, Highlands, Kaniksu, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Methow, Northern Blue Mountains, Valley, Upper Basin, and Upper Yakima.
"For Spokane county we typically see the first burn restrictions going into place late May or early June," Northeast Region Fire Prevention and Firewise coordinator Guy Gifford said. "That is what we would consider a "normal" time for burn restrictions to start for Spokane county."
The burn ban takes place in cooperation with local partner agencies. Residents are also advised to check with local fire agencies and jurisdictions for any additional restrictions.
DNR officials said the dry conditions will mean more potential for fire starts and the strong gusty winds can cause a fire to grow rapidly.
DNR officials also said that during the COVID-19 crisis, firefighters and first responders "are working hard to stay healthy to ensure their readiness to respond to fires and other emergencies. The public’s compliance with this temporary burn ban will help them remain healthy and ready to respond to an emergency."
In an earlier news release, DNR, state Parks and Recreation Commission and state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials announced the extended closure of state lands to the public through May 4. The closure coincides with the extension of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, originally set to expire April 8.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.