Summertime burn bans expire as dry spell ends

October 23, 2012

State, King County and Eastside Fire & Rescue officials ended burn bans in recent days, as the wildfire risk declined after a long dry spell.

The state Department of Natural Resources ended a burn ban on agency-protected lands at midnight Oct. 15. The next day, the King County fire marshal lifted a burn ban for unincorporated King County.

EFR kept a burn ban in place until Oct. 20 for Issaquah and communities served by the agency.

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State, King County burn bans expire after long dry spell

October 18, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2012

State and King County fire officials ended burn bans in recent days, as the wildfire risk declined after a long dry spell.

The state Department of Natural Resources ended a burn ban on agency-protected lands at midnight Monday. The next day, the King County fire marshal lifted a burn ban for unincorporated King County.

Eastside Fire & Rescue is keeping a burn ban in place through Oct. 20 for Issaquah and communities served by the agency.

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

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Statewide burn ban expires at midnight as fire risk falls

October 15, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 15, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources said the statewide burn ban on agency-protected lands is poised to expire at midnight Monday as the wildfire risk declines.

“My thanks to the public for their help and restraint during a difficult and prolonged fire season,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “The summer’s fires could have been a worse, but the public did everything they could to prevent wildfires.”

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

Lifting the statewide burn ban does not prevent authorities from putting in place burn restrictions at the local level.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue hosts fire station open houses

October 9, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue invites the public to tour fire stations Oct. 20 as part of Fire Prevention Month.

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Heightened fire danger continues into September

September 7, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 7, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue officials said continued hot, dry conditions create the potential for dangerous wildfires into September.

The lack of precipitation increases the risk of brush and urban wildfires. In a recent brush fire near North Bend, firefighters worried about the potential for the fire to spread into nearby brush and forest.

EFR notes a yearly increase in brush fires caused by careless smokers, unattended burns, illegal fireworks discharges, and children playing with lighters or matches.

Fire officials ask for residents to take precautions amid the dry conditions. Create a defensible space around homes. Report suspicious activity to authorities. Talk to children about fire dangers.

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King County fire marshal extends summer burn ban

September 1, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 1, 2012

Continued dry conditions led the King County fire marshal to extend the countywide burn ban until further notice, officials announced Aug. 31.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said August marked the driest August ever at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with only a trace of rain recorded. (Meteorologists use data collected at the airport for official climate records in the region.)

The dry August beat the old record of 0.01 inch set in 1974.

The fire marshal — and officials in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties — declared a regional burn ban in July. The ban was due to end Sept. 1.

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Practice fire safety during Labor Day weekend

August 28, 2012

Officials reminded the public to practice fire safety as residents head outside to celebrate Labor Day weekend.

Though the King County burn ban expires Sept. 1, other local restrictions remain in place.

Department of Natural Resources officials set a summer burn ban for Tiger Mountain State Forest and other state lands from July 1 to Sept. 30.

On state forestlands, users can build recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

Eastside Fire & Rescue imposed a summer burn ban June 15 for residents in Issaquah, Sammamish and nearby communities. The moratorium is in effect through Sept. 30.

For Labor Day cookouts, propane, natural gas and charcoal fires do not require a burn permit.

King County leaders offer tips for residents to beat heat

August 16, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

King County leaders offered tips Thursday for residents to help residents cope as near-record temperatures broil the region.

Officials offered information for residents to remain safe in the high temperatures, prevent wildfires in the dry conditions and encourage safety on the water, as people seek relief in lakes and rivers.

King County is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

In Issaquah, temperatures exceeded 90 degrees Thursday and should top 90 again Friday.

“Our region is known for rain, not hot weather like this,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Extreme heat can be dangerous, even deadly, so we are urging everyone to take precautions to keep cool and stay safe.”

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State lands commissioner asks for help from public amid high wildfire risk

August 16, 2012

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked for help from the public Thursday to prevent wildfires, as the risk rises on both sides of the Cascades.

“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire,” he said in a statement. “That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks.”

The request came as the National Weather Service maintains a regional excessive heat warning for communities along Puget Sound and in the Cascade foothills. Temperatures could approach 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday.

The weekend forecast includes a significant risk of lightning-sparked wildfires.

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Issaquah donation site established for residents impacted by Taylor Bridge Fire

August 15, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Aug. 15, 2012

The public can donate items to help Cle Elum residents displayed by the Taylor Bridge Fire at a drop-off site in Issaquah.

Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce leaders established a drop-off site at Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Organizers requested non-perishable food and water, clothing and blankets, toiletries and items for infants, such as diapers and formula, and pet supplies.

Citizens can also donate cash to the relief effort.

The chamber also established drop-off sites in Ellensburg and Yakima.

The wildfire stretches for 17 miles and, so far, burned more than 28,000 acres. The fire is 10 percent contained, and more than 800 firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
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