Wildfire

Photo: Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is implementing temporary burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in the South Puget Sound Region, the Northwest Region, the Pacific Cascade Region, and the Northeast Region.

For the next week, DNR is asking the public to avoid conducting outdoor debris burns as much as possible. Fire danger is rising in Washington due to dry and warming weather conditions and gusty winds that can spread a wildfire quickly through dry grasses and forests.

“Fire season is upon us, and we’re asking the public to not take any chances,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Strong winds and dry weather leave us vulnerable to fast-spreading wildfires, and we cannot protect our firefighters, forests and communities without the public’s help. We need everyone to avoid starting an outdoor fire and, if they do, to fully extinguish it and have a hose ready if the fire escapes outside the burn area.”

The announcement comes after a spike in wildfires over the past week. Firefighters responded to nearly 40 incidents over a three day period, several of which were caused by outdoor debris burning.

Burn restrictions are taking effect in the following regions:

South Puget Sound

  • Small debris burns (“Rule Burns”) are NOT allowed.
  • Permit burns are still allowed.

Northeast Region

  • Small debris burns (“Rule Burns”) are NOT allowed.
  • Permit burns are still allowed.

Northwest Region

  • Small debris burns (“Rule Burns”) are still allowed.
  • Permit burns (larger fires requiring a DNR permit) are NOT allowed.

Pacific Cascade Region

  • Neither small debris burns nor permit burns are allowed.

The burn restrictions for the Northwest, Northeast and Pacific Cascade Regions are in effect now. The burn restrictions for the South Puget Sound Region take effect tomorrow.

A map of the DNR regions is available here.

The restrictions are expected to be lifted after spring rains allow fresh grasses to grow that haven’t dried out.

A misdemeanor citation will be issued to those who do not comply with a DNR burn restriction. A misdemeanor citation will also be issued for people who do not follow the rules and conditions of their burn permits. If proven negligent, the offender will be billed for the fire suppression costs.

Daily updates on burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/ifpl/.