Wildfire season in Washington State begins today

Wildfire season officially begins April 15, as specified by state law, and already the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has had more than 60 forest fires reported this year on lands protected by the agency.

“This year, we have ominous predictions for a hot, dry summer,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “While we work hard to prepare for what could be a challenging season, there are some things property owners can and should do to prepare.”

Property owners can reduce fire risk to their homes and lands by keeping dead vegetation off roofs and away from buildings. The Firewise program explains how to use these techniques and offers incentives to communities who follow Firewise principles.

Prediction for this summer’s weather is available from the National Weather Service. The risk of wildfires can change rapidly during the spring when warmer, dryer weather increases. Among other things, that means people working in the woods or clearing land need to have fire prevention equipment on hand.

Already, above average temperatures and low snowpack have created dry grassland and forests. On March 13, Governor Inslee declared a drought in three Washington regions – the Olympic Peninsula, east slopes of the Central Cascades and Walla Walla.

Last year, more than 315,000 acres of DNR-protected lands were consumed by about 900 wildfires, in the state’s worst ever fire season.  Even though Washington experienced more lightning strikes than normal, 75 percent of the fires were human-caused.

Starting April 22, DNR will offer a series of wildfire preparedness meetings across eastern Washington aimed at helping residents in fire-prone areas of the state prepare for wildfire season.

The agency is also current requesting additional resources from the legislature to increase wildland firefighters and equipment, and to improve the health and fire resistance of Washington forests.

Washington’s summer fire rules

Washington’s “summer fire rules” are in effect April 15 through October 15. These rules apply to the 13 million acres of private and state forestlands protected from wildfire by DNR.

These regulations affect loggers, firewood cutters, land clearers, road builders, heavy equipment operators, off-road motorcyclists, and others. During fire season, people using motorized equipment in the woods must have approved spark arresters and follow fire safety precautions. In addition, those working in the woods must have fire prevention and extinguishing equipment in good working order at the job site and workers trained in proper use.

The rules are intended to prevent forest fires and to extinguish small fires before they spread. Those same rules restrict cigarette smoking in forested areas on roads, gravels pits, or other clearings. They also prohibit lighting fireworks on forestland.

Stay connected during wildfire season
Daily fire risk ratings available by phone and Internet

Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) may change daily and classify varying levels of potential fire hazard in different parts of the state. People who work in the woods must observe the IFPL. More information is available from the following sources:

precaution levels, a map of current shutdown zones, and a copy of DNR’s Industrial Fire Precaution Level Bulletin.

  • DNR’s toll-free business line at 1-800-527-3305 plays a message identifying daily

industrial fire precaution levels, which are listed by geographical region. The hearing

impaired can phone Telephone Device for the Deaf at 1-800-833-6388.

  • Email DNR at RPD@dnr.wa.gov. Ask questions or request a copy of DNR’s Industrial

Fire Precaution Level Bulletin or additional information on safe outdoor burning of forest debris and safe recreational campfire tips.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with over 1,100 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration juvenile offenders support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

 

West Nile virus infection confirmed in Washington resident

A Walla Walla County man is the first Washington resident in 2014 known to have been infected with West Nile virus in our state. The man in his 20s was likely exposed near his home and was hospitalized. The infection was confirmed by testing at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories in Shoreline.

Two other Washington residents have been diagnosed with the infection this year, both with exposures in other states. A King County man in his 70s and a Grays Harbor woman in her 50s were infected with West Nile virus this year while traveling out of state. Additional reports of possible infections are currently under investigation.

“The mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile virus in eastern Washington this season are a reminder that the virus is here and we should protect ourselves,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “The best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites — at home and while traveling.”

So far, 34 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2014, including Benton County (11), Franklin County (11), and Grant County (12). The number of positive mosquito samples detected this year has already surpassed the number found during the past three years, combined (28).

Year after year, south central Washington has been a “hot spot” for the virus, with most in-state acquired human and animal cases having been exposed in this area. Mosquito testing shows the virus is in our state, and the mosquito species that transmit the virus are found throughout Washington. Regardless of where you are, health officials recommend avoiding mosquito bites to help prevent getting infected.

A few simple precautions can help reduce your chances of getting mosquito bites:

  • Stay indoors around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use a mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors, and consider wearing long sleeves and pants when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure that door and window screens are in good condition so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.
  • Reduce mosquito habitat around the home by dumping standing or stagnant water in old buckets, cans, flower pots, or old tires, and frequently change water in birdbaths, pet dishes, and water troughs.

West Nile virus is primarily a bird disease, and often dead birds are an early sign that the disease is active in an area. People may report dead birds online to public health officials. So far this year no dead birds have been reported with the infection in the state.

Most people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms at all. Others may develop fever, headache, or body aches. For a small percentage of people, West Nile virus infection can be very serious, resulting in encephalitis, meningitis, or other complications. People over age 50 have the highest risk for serious illness.

Last year, only two human infections of West Nile virus were reported, and both were exposed out of state. During 2012, four cases were reported, two of which were in-state acquired while the other two were travel-associated. The state most active year was 2009, in which there were 38 human cases, 95 animal cases (including birds), and 364 positive mosquito samples. It’s impossible to predict what each year may bring, so it’s important to do things to prevent mosquito bites and protect yourself from West Nile virus infection.

More information is available on the agency’s West Nile virus information line, 1-866-78-VIRUS (1-866-788-4787) and on the West Nile virus website.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

State Update: Fires hold steady as victims get help

The state’s lead fire fighting agencies—the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)andthe State Fire Marshal’s Office of the Washington State Patrol (WSP)—continued to lead state government’s response today to multiple wildfires  in central and eastern Washington today.

 

Okanogan County: Fires were cooler this morning on the Carlton Complex, but were bad yesterday as 41 homes were destroyed near Alta Lake. County emergency management estimates a total of 150-200 homes have now been destroyed in Okanogan County. The Carlton Complex has burned 299,897 acres. Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, Winthrop and other communities in the county are temporarily powering water systems and sewer services on generator. Two of the four gas stations in Winthrop have power now, making it less of a problem to gasoline and diesel fuel.

 

While Okanogan County has been the hardest hit due to the sprawling Carlton Complex, wildfires are also burning in Chelan, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Spokane and Yakima counties.

  • The Chiwaukum Complex has burned 11,051 acres and continues to grow.

o   The Mills Canyon Fire, branch of the Chiwaukum, has burned 22,571 acres

  • The Saddle Mountain Fire in Kittitas County has burned 20,200 acres but will demobilize at midnight.
  • The Watermelon Hill Fire in Spokane County has burned 8,000 acres.

 

Other state activities

 

The Washington State Department of Transportation is working to keep roads open. The latest on road closures and openings is at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx.

The Department of Commerce’s Energy Office says approximately 7,000 customers of the Okanogan PUD and Okanogan Electric Cooperative are without power. Power for feeders along Interstate and state highways and from there into Pateros and Winthrop is estimated to be restored by the end of week. It is estimated that full restoration along county roads and to individual homes and businesses in Okanogan will take several weeks.

 

The Washington National Guard has four Blackhawk helicopters, two fuel trucks and 21 personnel deployed to Carlton Complex. There are two Chinook helicopters, two fuel trucks and 17 personnel on the Mills Canyon Complex. An incident communications package staffed by five personnel is setting up at Omak. Having completed pre-mobilization preparations, 100 National Guard soldiers are standing by in Yakima to support Department of Natural Resources fire fighters. Through July 19, Guard helicopters dropped 400,440 gallons of water on fires.

 

Personnel from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Environment Public Health Division are consulting with wildfire-impacted counties about air quality and water quality issues. DOH and the Department of Ecology are partnering to analyze and monitor how smoke and ash are affecting air quality.

 

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) deployed two trained crews with a total of 20 youths to support DNR firefighting efforts.DSHS and the American Red Cross are co-leading state-level mass care and emergency assistance efforts with support from FEMA Region 10.

 

The Department of Enterprise Services is assisting Okanogan County with a liaison to manage donations, and another liaison to support operations in the county’s emergency operations center in Omak.

 

Gov. Jay Inslee and Maj. Gen, Bret Daugherty from the Washington Military Department toured the Paschal-Sherman Indian Boarding School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs facility on the Colville Indian Reservation. The school is being considered for housing displaced individuals from the Carlton Complex fire, or National Guard and emergency services personnel supporting fire-fighting efforts.

                                                                                                                    

Non-government agencies—The American Red Cross is operating shelters in Chelan, Omak and Winthrop and opening a shelter in Brewster tonight. The Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Services began providing meals in Okanogan County today. The Red Cross is establishing a shelter in Brewster so residents from there will be closer to home. Many Brewster residents are currently using the shelter in the town of Chelan. The Chelan shelter will not close until people are no longer staying there. In coordination with the Red Cross, Okanogan County Health is contacting medical suppliers to ensure that Winthrop residents are able to get replacement oxygen bottles.

 

State agencies coordinate their support to the wildfire response through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray. The Logistics Section of the State EOC is processing requests for generators from Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop. The three communities are already using back-up generators to power utility services and need more. A liaison from the State EOC’s Operations Section worked with utility officials in Okanogan County today as they assessed power requirements in Twisp and Winthrop.

Cantwell, Murray & Inslee: Keep Export-Import Bank Open, Protect 85,000 WA Jobs

Over the weekend U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Gov. Jay Inslee and local business leaders to call for Congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the nation’s official export credit agency and a key export tool that helps Washington companies sell their products overseas.

 

The Ex-Im Bank is a financing tool that helps American companies sell their products or services to foreign customers. It has supported more than 180 exporters in Washington state, two-thirds of which are small businesses. About 85,000 jobs in Washington state are supported by sales involving Ex-Im Bank financing.  Nationally, it has supported $189 billion in exports over the last five years.

 

But the Ex-Im Bank’s charter is set to expire in 100 days, and unless Congress acts, it will be forced to end its assistance to American companies. Inslee, Cantwell and Murray joined Lawrence Stone, CEO and President of SCAFCO, a Spokane company that exports grain storage systems and steel framing products to 82 countries, to highlight how failing to extend the Ex-Im Bank would hurt businesses in the Spokane area and around the state.

 

“Ex-Im is a critical source of capital for businesses all across Washington state. As the most trade-dependent state in the nation, those businesses and our economy could lose billions of dollars in export sales if it expires,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “This has helped Washington wineries, growers, food processors and manufacturers create thousands of jobs. Without Ex-Im financing, many of these companies risk losing sales to foreign competitors.”

 

The Governor and two Senators toured SCAFCO, which employs 245 workers in Spokane, and has successfully used Ex-Im financing to expand exports. SCAFCO is one of 14 businesses in Eastern Washington that have used Ex-Im services since 2007. Ex-Im financing has supported $63 million in sales from Eastern Washington companies.

 

“This is about how the United States of America grows jobs by exporting our products overseas,” Cantwell said. “As chairwoman of the Senate Small Business Committee, my top priority is to make sure we have more growth from small businesses and help them become exporters. By expanding to new markets, companies like SCAFCO get new customers and we get jobs here at home. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of our borders. We want people to have this tool so they can buy grain silos or airplanes that proudly say ‘Made in the USA.’”

 

“Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank isn’t about politics, or Republicans and Democrats. It’s about creating jobs here in the United States and keeping our businesses competitive in the global marketplace. That’s it,” Senator Murray said.  “Of the more than 200,000 American jobs supported by the Export-Import Bank last year, more than half were in Washington state, so while this is national priority, it’s particularly critical for jobs and the economy in our home state.”

 

The entire Washington state delegation – in both the House and the Senate — voted for the bank’s reauthorization in 2012. Ex-Im’s reauthorization has been backed by business groups around the country, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable. Historically, the bank has received strong bipartisan support.

 

The Ex-Im Bank, which is self-supported through interest payment and fees, turns a profit for U.S. taxpayers, and transferred $1 billion in revenue to the U.S. Treasury in 2013. It has been reauthorized about two-dozen times since it was created in 1934.

 

“I know that I am speaking for hundreds of small- and medium-sized manufacturers across the country when I say to our Congress: Please reauthorize Ex-Im Bank without delay,” Stone, of SCAFCO, said. “The future of America’s exports and a significant amount of American manufacturers depend on your action on this important issue.”

 

In the past year alone, Ex-Im financing assisted 84 Washington companies, including 64 small businesses, and close to $21 billion worth of sales to foreign customers.

 

In FY 2013, nearly 90 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions—a record-high 3,413—involved American small businesses.  In FY 2011, more than 700 first-time small businesses and nearly 500 minority- and women-owned businesses used the bank’s services. Ex-Im opened a new branch in Seattle in August 2012, with the goal of helping small businesses get more access to the bank’s financing.

 

If private banks are unwilling or unable, the Export-Import Bank steps in and finances or insures the purchase of U.S. goods by foreign customers. It also helps U.S. companies stay competitive against their counterparts overseas that are financed by foreign governments.

Fish without a license during Washington’s Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license. How? By taking advantage of ‘Free Fishing Weekend,’ scheduled for June 7-8.

 

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

 

Anglers will not need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles on selected waters where two pole fishing is permitted. Anglers will also not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

 

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to try fishing in Washington, whether you are new to the sport, have not taken up a rod and reel in years, or want to introduce a friend or young family member to the sport,” said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager.

 

Anglers have been catching daily limits of trout at lakes for the past month, and many rivers will open to trout fishing June 7 throughout the state. Other options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

 

  • Hatchery chinook salmon in Washington’s ocean waters.
  • Lingcod on the coast and Puget Sound.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout eastern Washington.
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River and on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

WDFW has been working to expand Internet-based resources to suit anglers of all skill levels, said Donley, who encourages anglers to check the “Fish Washington” feature at the department’s homepage wdfw.wa.gov for details on fishing opportunities. The map-based webpage includes fishing information by county, lake and fish species throughout the state.

 

And, for those who prefer the show-and-tell approach, Donley recommends the department’s YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/thewdfw, with “how to” fishing videos designed to introduce techniques for both new and seasoned anglers.

 

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and closures will still be in effect. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon or steelhead they catch.

 

Catch record cards and 2014/2015 sportfishing rules pamphlets are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/  on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

 

The sportfishing rules pamphlet also is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Washington wolf population kept expanding last year, according to WDFW survey

MOSES LAKE – Gray wolves established four new packs and expanded their territory in the state over the past year, state wildlife managers told the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at a public meeting here today.

That assessment was based on an annual survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) that confirmed the presence of 13 wolf packs, five successful breeding pairs and at least 52 individual wolves in 2013.

Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore specialist, said the latest findings point to continued growth in the state’s wolf population under state and federal recovery plans.

“While we can’t count every wolf in the state, the formation of four new packs is clear evidence of steady growth in Washington’s wolf population,” he said. “More packs mean more breeding females, which produce more pups.”

All but eliminated from western states in the last century, wolves are now protected under Washington law throughout the state and under federal law in the western two-thirds of the state.

The commission, an appointed panel that sets policy for WDFW, approved the plan in 2011 that guides state management and recovery of wolves in Washington.

In developing its annual update, WDFW used a combination of aerial surveys, trackers and signals from 11 wolves fitted with active radio-collars, Martorello said.

Three of the new packs – Ruby Creek, Dirty Shirt and Carpenter Ridge – were formed by wolves that split off from the existing Smackout Pack in northeast Washington, he said.

A fourth new pack, the Wenatchee Pack, appears to be made up of two female wolves from the Teanaway Pack, whose territory stretches between Ellensburg and Wenatchee.

Under the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, a wolf pack is defined in the state plan as two or more wolves traveling together.

Despite their growing numbers, wolves were involved in far fewer conflicts with humans and livestock in 2013 than in the previous year, Martorello said.

Stephanie Simek, WDFW’s wolf conflict-resolution manager, said the department investigated 20 reported attacks on pets and livestock last year, but found that wolves were actually involved in only four of them. Confirmed wolf attacks left one calf dead and three dogs injured, she said.

By comparison, wolves killed at least seven calves and one sheep in 2012, leaving six additional calves and two sheep injured, Simek said. Most of those attacks were made by the Wedge Pack on a single rancher’s cattle in northeast Washington, she said.

WDFW ultimately killed seven members of the Wedge Pack to stop the escalating series of attacks, although two wolves were still travelling as a pack in the same area in 2013, she said.

“That was an extraordinary event that we do not want to repeat,” said Martorello, noting that no wolves were killed by WDFW last year.

The 2013 survey does, however, reflect the death of five wolves, due to causes ranging from a car accident on Blewett Pass to a legal hunt on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Simek outlined several steps WDFW has taken in the past year to reduce conflicts with wolves:

  • Cooperative agreements: The department entered into cost-sharing agreements with 29 livestock producers, who have made a commitment to take proactive steps to avoid conflicts with wolves. Typical strategies include improving fencing and sanitation, employing range riders and using non-lethal hazing methods to repel wolves.
  • Increased staffing: WDFW created a new 13-member Wildlife Conflict Section to work with livestock producers, landowners and entire communities to avoid conflicts with wolves. Seven of those positions were new hires in 2013.
  • Wolf Advisory Group: A new nine-member advisory group was established to recommend strategies for encouraging more livestock owners to enter into cooperative agreements, providing compensation for wolf-related economic losses, and other issues. Members of the group represent hunters, livestock producers and conservation groups.

“These actions have greatly improved the department’s ability to manage our growing wolf population and meet state recovery goals,” Martorello said.

Under the state’s wolf-management plan, wolves can be removed from the state’s endangered species list once 15 successful breeding pairs are documented for three consecutive years among three designated wolf-recovery regions – or 18 successful breeding pairs in one year among three designated wolf-recovery regions.

A successful breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female with at least two pups that survive until the end of the calendar year.

In 2013, WDFW documented three successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington recovery region and two pairs in the North Cascades recovery region. No wolf packs or breeding pairs have been documented on the South Cascades/Northwest Coast recovery region.

Meanwhile, the federal listing of gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act is currently under review. In June 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to delist gray wolves nationwide. A decision is expected by the end of 2014.

An overview of the 2013 wolf survey is posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/. A full report will be available on that site by April 4, 2014.

DNR now accepting Community Forest Trust nominations

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now considering nominations for lands to be included in the state Community Forest Trust.

Local communities interested in having lands included in the Community Forest Trust need to file the request for nominations form by June 2, 2014. This form can be downloaded from DNR’s website at: http://1.usa.gov/1b46Jft.

In 2013, the Teanaway Community Forest in Kittitas county became the first Community Forest Trust property in Washington.

Included in the application is a checklist of materials needed to submit a nomination and a desired timeline for the process.

DNR Community Forest Trust program
Working forests in Washington are a vital part of our economy and culture. However, since the 1980s, more than one sixth—17 percent—of Western Washington forests have been converted to other land uses. As working forests vanish, so do many benefits for communities, including local timber, natural resources jobs, clean air and water, and recreation.

To address this, in 2011, DNR worked with the state legislature to create a new tool for local community partners to participate in protecting working forestlands that benefit their communities—the Community Forest Trust.

The first state community forest was established in 2013 in the Teanaway River Valley, just north of Cle Elum in Eastern Washington. This new category of working forestland is held by the state and sustainably managed by DNR, consistent with the values of the local community.

Hanford Whistleblower settles into Union President position at Grays Harbor Transit

The Grays Harbor Transit Authority last week met their new Union President, Hanford whistleblower Ed Bricker introduced himself at their regular meeting. Bricker became one of the  nuclear industry’s first whistle-blowers in the 1980’s when he worked with Congress to expose health hazards at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a federal facility in Eastern Washington that processed plutonium for the Department of Energy(DOE) at the time.
Ed Bricker“I did tell a story when I was set apart as Union President where Abe Lincoln was walking down the street with two balling boys under both arms. Somebody yelled out ‘what’s the problem Abe?’ and he yelled back ‘same old problem since time began; two boys and one piece of candy’ and sometimes it’s the same thing with running a transit company or running a union.
Now Union President for the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1765, Bricker added “I’ve seen both sides of labor and management, and I’ve heard lots of good things about what you guys do down here.”
General Manager Mark Carlin welcomed Bricker, also taking a moment to commend former president Karen Stites and the Union as a whole for their agreement to a wage freeze in the coming year “I know that the Transit Board over the summer was looking for the Union members to “buy in” and do something financial to help out our situation, and I feel that they have really stepped up.”
The Transit Authority last year made drastic cuts to stay in the black, including dropping weekend bus service throughout the county.

Campfire ban lifted for state parks in Western Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington State Parks announces it is lifting a ban on campfires in state parks in Western Washington, as the result of rain and forecasts of milder weather. 

Effective immediately, campers in state park campgrounds west of the Cascade crest may resume having campfires in provided campfire rings and also may use charcoal briquettes in grills and braziers. 

State Parks is following the lead of Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who announced today he is lifting the ban on recreational fires in approved fire pits on forest lands under DNR fire protection, within state, county and municipal or other campgrounds in Western Washington. 

A ban on campfires and use of briquettes remains in place for all state parks in Eastern Washington. 

Visitors to state parks in Eastern Washington are allowed to use the following devices for cooking and warmth: 

• Propane and liquid gas stoves appropriate for camping and backcountry use
• Propane barbecue devices that do not use solid briquettes
• Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices that have a shield or base
• Lava rocks or lava logs may be used in propane grills and barbecues
• Solid fuel citronella or other candles in a metal bucket or glass container 

Homicide Suspect Apprehended in Yakima Area

UPDATE: The Grays Harbor County sheriff’s office says a man sought in the death of a woman near Montesano has been arrested in Eastern Washington.

MONTESANO, Wash. -Sheriff’s detectives searched yesterday for Eugene Elkins, the 56 year old friend of a woman found dead in her home on Clemons road Wednesday morning. Undersheriff Rick Scott tells KBKW shortly after 8, Deputies responded to a residence in Montesano where they later confirmed a 58 year old female was deceased.

Scott said the investigation revealed the suspect, had fled the scene prior to officer’s arrival.