Updated Burn Ban; DNR Expands Burn

The Mason County Community Development Director, as acting Fire Marshal, and in partnership with the Mason County  Fire Chiefs’ Association, has determined that current weather conditions within Mason County have created substantial fire dangers and that there is a need to enact restriction on outdoor burning to all lands regulated by Mason County.   This burn ban applies to ALL OUTDOOR BURNING, including land clearing and yard debris; with the exception of recreational fires in approved concrete, stone, or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds. The use of charcoal briquettes, gas and propane barbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.

*Lands protected by Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may have different restrictions.  To find out more information or determine if you are in a Department of Natural Resources area visit www.dnr.wa.gov or call the DNR South Puget Sound Region at 360-825-1631.

  Recreational fires must:

  • Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
  • Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
  • Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches;
  • Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged water hose.
    Completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative.
  • No burning when winds exceed 5 MPH.

For further information, please contact the Mason County Burn Ban Information Line at (360) 427-7799.

DNR expands burn ban to include western Washington

Hot and dry conditions increasing fire danger statewide

With heat and drought rapidly increasing fire danger in western Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is today expanding last week’s burn ban from DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington to include those west of the Cascades. The statewide burn ban will run from June 22 through September 30, 2015.

“Westside forests are drying out and the outlook is for continued warm, dry weather,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.  “These conditions make it clear it’s time for a statewide burn ban.”

The statewide burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forestlands under DNR fire protection.  It does not include federally owned lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies.

In 2015 so far, there have been 306 wildfire starts throughout the state. Last year’s fire season was the biggest on record in Washington, with the largest state fire ever, the Carlton Complex, destroying more than 250,000 acres. More than 1 million acres of Washington’s landscape has been consumed by wildfire since 2009.

DNR is awaiting legislative action this summer on requests for $4.5 million for additional firefighting teams and equipment, and $20 million to improve the health of drought-ravaged, flammable forests.

The statewide burn ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands with the exception of recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal and other campgrounds.  Charcoal briquettes may be used only in approved campground fire pits. 

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands.

If conditions permit, limited controlled burning will be allowed for live-fire training exercises under the direction of DNR during firefighter training.  These burns would take place on June 25 through 27 approximately 17 miles northeast of Ellensburg, in the Naneum Ridge State Forest near Snag Canyon; and June 28 and 29 about three miles north of Oakville in the Capital State Forest.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with more than 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, adult offenders from the Department of Corrections and juvenile offenders from the Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration support firefighting efforts through DNR’s Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.