So long, s’mores: No campfires allowed in a stricter burn ban

The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including recreational fires and fireworks.

There will be no campfires for the foreseeable future because Island County entered a Type II burn ban on July 15.

The burn ban applies to unincorporated areas of the county and prohibits all outdoor burning, including recreational fires and fireworks unless the latter are authorized by local fire officials. No one is allowed to burn natural materials like yard waste or wood, even if they have a permit.

Barbecue grills using propane or briquettes or self-contained camp stoves are still allowed.

The county had already been in a Type I burn ban since June 30 after Island County Sheriff Rick Felici, who also acts as the county’s fire marshal, called for it because of hot and dry weather.

\There is a permanent ban on yard waste and land-clearing burning in Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland and Langley, as well as their urban growth areas.

No wood or charcoal fires are allowed in any Washington state parks either because they are all in a level three burn ban or higher as of July 2.

Barbecues, camp stoves or fire pits that use propane are allowed. No open flames of any type are allowed in a level four burn ban.

The statewide fire danger remains high as wildfires are spreading in Eastern Washington.

The state Department of Ecology declared a drought emergency in all areas of the state except for Everett, Seattle and Tacoma.

The drought declaration means that the water supply is projected to be less than 75 percent of average. It allows the state Department of Ecology to expedite processing for emergency drought permits and the temporary transfers of water rights, and to provide funding to public entities.

People can submit observations and photos illustrating the drought through the department’s Drought Condition Monitoring Observations and Reports survey at the following link