OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the statewide burn ban has been lifted from DNR-protected lands earlier than anticipated. The heavy rainfall throughout the state has eased the summer fire danger and the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s September 2010 outlook calls for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.
DNR urges continued caution with all potential fire sources, including tools, vehicles, camp stoves and other equipment and activities. Forest landowners may now conduct silvicultural burning subject to the conditions of their written burning permit or under DNR rules for burning without a permit.
The conditions allow DNR to remove the statewide burn ban before September 30, 2010. The burn ban was ordered on July 15, 2010 to reduce the number of wildfires caused by escaped debris burns and recreational fires on forest land. These fires can cause extensive damage to natural resources and property, and can cost the state millions of dollars in fire suppression costs.
This year was the first that Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark issued a Commissioner’s Order calling for a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands.
Burn barrels illegal
The use of burn barrels in Washington state is illegal. Backyard fires that get out of control are a leading cause of wildfires caused by people. Those who burn fires illegally are held responsible for the cost of putting out the wildfire caused by their outdoor burning.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.