Summer burn ban on all DNR-protected lands

OLYMPIA – The state Department ofNatural Resources announced a burning ban on all DNR-protected lands from July1 to Sept. 30, 2011.

The threat of wildfires fromescaped outdoor burning is high during the summer months due to dry forestvegetation. Each year, the DNR strives to keep all wildfires under 10 acres.Last year, the DNR had 71 wildfire starts simply from escaped outdoor burnpiles, which burned approximately 153 acres, according too the agency.

The burn ban affects allforestlands in Washington under DNR fire protection but does not apply tofederal lands.

“Wildfires are dangerous for peopleand property and result in large expenditures of public funding that can beavoided through prevention,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

The ban will apply to all outdoorburning on DNR-protected forestlands, including currently permitted burns, withthe following exceptions:

1.     Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designatedstate, county, municipal or other campgrounds, and

2.     DNR-approved prescribed fires, implemented to enhance orrestore fire-dependent ecosystems and forest health, when enhancement andrestoration by prescribed fire can only be accomplished successfully during theperiod of time from July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, and

3.     As approved in writing by DNR when there are compellingreasons for an exception.

4.     The use of gas and propane self-contained stoves andbarbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.

When implemented, the burn ban willtake precedence over and supersede all other burn bans currently in effect onDNR-protected forestlands. The burn ban does not apply to federal lands.