State and King County impose summer burn bans

July 15, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. July 15, 2010

King County and the state Department of Natural Resources enacted burn bans for the entire county and all state forestlands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest.

The bans go into effect Thursday and runs until Sept. 30. The state ban supersedes all other burn bans in effect on forestlands, except federal lands.

The dual directives apply to all outdoor burning, including previously permitted burns. Residents cannot burn forest or yard waste during the ban.

Monitor the status of the ban here.

The ban includes some exceptions.

Prescribed burns approved by the Department of Natural Resources can proceed. The agency could also approve other burns if applicants make a compelling case for exception.

Under the ban, campfires must be:

  • Built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those in designated campgrounds
  • Grow no larger than three feet across
  • Located in a clear spot free from vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction and a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches
  • Attended at all times by someone with immediate access to a shovel and five gallons of water, or a connected and charged water hose

“With local temperatures rising, we have called this burn ban to protect public health and safety during the summer months,” county Fire Marshal Jim Chan said in a news release.

The bans do not affect gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbecues. The bans also do not impact federal lands, such as Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“The threat of wildfires from escaped outdoor burning is high during the summer months due to unusual fire danger,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release. “Wildfires are dangerous for people and property and result in large expenditures of public funding that can be avoided through prudent actions to prevent them.”

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