Department of Natural Resources extends burn ban — again

October 4, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 4, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources took the unprecedented step of extending the statewide burn ban through Oct. 15, more than a week after the earlier burn ban extension had been set to expire.

Officials attributed the longer ban to a prolonged stretch of unusually dry weather in Western Washington since July and extreme risk of wildfire.

The ban on outdoor burning applies to all Department of Natural Resources-protected public, private and tribal lands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

National Weather Service forecasters expect the current danger of extreme fire weather in Western Washington to continue into the weekend. Washington has had no measurable rain in August, and September ranked as the third driest on record.

“We have not seen wildfire conditions this bad in October in a lifetime,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “I’m concerned that the shorter days and colder weather will lull some people into thinking it’s safe to build campfires or bonfires. We need everyone to be cautious, alert and aware of the burn restrictions.”

The 12 million acres affected by the ban includes all forestlands in Washington, except for federal lands.

Campgrounds may have additional burn restrictions in place. Campers should check with campground hosts before starting a campfire.

The state moratorium is in addition to a burn ban imposed by Eastside Fire & Rescue through Oct. 20 and by the King County fire marshal until further notice.

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