Fire restrictions are taking effect in eastern Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire restrictions are taking effect in eastern Washington

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OLYMPIA, WA - Who doesn't love a good bonfire on a warm summer night? Unfortunately, because of the arrival of dry and hot weather, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will issue fire restrictions across eastern Washington on July 1st, and the Department of Natural Resources will issue a burn ban on July 2nd. 

WDFW Lands Division manager Clay Sprague said the department is taking steps to reduce the risk of fire in its wildlife areas and access areas. 

"Following fire restrictions and exercising common sense are the most important steps people can take to preserve public recreation lands and wildlife habitat," Sprague said.

This restriction prohibits:

  • Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings, although personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.
  • Welding and the use of chainsaws. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.
  • Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

It is also important to know that fireworks are prohibited year-round at all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 700-plus water access sites around the state. So is throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway.

The last two wildfire seasons have been the state's worst ever. Last year more than a million acres burned across the state, the single worst wildfire year in Washington history.
    
So far this year, DNR says there have been 234 wildfire starts, 202 of them caused by humans.
    
The DNR burn ban is scheduled to remain in effect through Sept. 30. It may be extended or shortened based on fire weather.

 

Any changes to WDFW's restrictions will be posted on the department's website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov.

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