DNR issues statewide burn ban following weekend of wildfires

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A statewide burn ban has been issued for all forestland under the state Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) fire protection.

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz signed the order on Monday, prompted by hot and dry weather conditions across the northwest.

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“We simply cannot take any chances right now with wildfire potential so great. Recent hot weather has set the stage for fires to start easily and grow quickly – any spark can set off a megafire,” said Franz. “I ask that we all do our part to prevent wildfires and keep our communities safe by abiding by this burn ban and being extremely cautious when it comes to activities that could start a fire.”

This burn band covers 12 million acres of public and private land and is in effect until September 30, or fire danger lowers.

Franz recommends that people wait for wet weather before burning yard debris or starting campfires.

“We are entering a critical period for our firefighters with temperatures rising and rapidly drying fuels on the ground,” said DNR wildfire deputy Geissler. “We’ll continue to respond with our air and ground assets as needed, but we hope the public will take the burn ban seriously. Not only are we putting firefighters in danger with each wildfire, but we are also risking their exposure to COVID-19 with smoky conditions and a close working environment. We want and need healthy first responders for the duration of the wildfire season.”