August 3, 2008

Increased Fire Danger Prompts Burning Restrictions in Washington

By Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, Wash.

Aug. 2--Burning restrictions are in place in much of Eastern Washington because of increased fire danger, officials say.

The Forest Service has banned all campfires in the Naches Ranger District outside of wilderness areas, citing increased fire hazard. The ban, which took effect Friday, means building, maintaining or using a fire, campfire or briquette fire are prohibited. Pressurized liquid gas stoves are allowed.

Campfires are permitted in the in Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas and Norse Peak wilderness areas.

Campfire restrictions have been in place in the Chelan, Entiat and Wenatchee ranger districts since July 2.

In the Umatilla National Forest, there are restrictions on campfires, smoking and off-road travel. They took effect July 24.

Building and tending of open campfires, including charcoal briquettes, cooking fires and warming fires are prohibited until further notice, except in fire pits at designated recreation sites. Permissible sources for cooking or heat include pressurized gas barbecues, stoves and space-heating devices.

Smoking is only allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites or when stopped in an area cleared of all flammable material, Umatilla National Forest officials said.

And the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has announced additional burning restrictions in several northeast Washington counties.

The state said the fire danger rating for all of Okanogan County will increase to 'very high.' This means that all outdoor burning, including campfires, is prohibited on DNR-protected lands in Okanogan County.

Fire danger ratings for Spokane, Lincoln, Stevens (Fire Districts 1 and 2), and Pend Oreille counties will remain at the 'high' level, which prohibits all burning on DNR-protected lands, except for campfires in approved campgrounds.


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