Gov. Chris Gregoire announced this week that an emergency proclamation banning all outdoor burning has been extended through midnight Monday, Oct. 15, and now includes all counties in Washington state.
“Washington state is experiencing a weather pattern like one we’ve rarely seen before,” Gregoire said. “The long, warm and dry spell has elevated fire danger across our state. Given that we don’t expect a significant amount of rainfall for quite some time, it makes sense to extend this proclamation and expand the burn ban.
The state Department of Natural Resources said Friday that critical weather conditions like these are “not seen in a lifetime.”
While residents of the Puget Sound region have been enjoying one of the best late summers / early falls in memory, the warm and dry weather comes with a price. A dry landscape increases the chance of wildfires.
“Most often it’s wind, or snow or heavy rain that causes us problems,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “In this case, some very nice weather also has an extreme downside. While we’d all like to be camping or picnicking in the woods, open fires just can’t be a part of the mix.”
The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including campfires, bonfires, fireworks and yard debris clean-up.
Liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided that use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and is at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.
The state’s Department of Ecology is monitoring air quality across Washington state where smoke-filled air remains.