600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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August 04, 2000
Contact: : Cindy Neff, Washington Department of Natural Resources, 360-902-1009
Peggy Crain, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, 360-902-2513

Open fires banned; free homeowners fire safety kit offered

OLYMPIA – Effective today, all burning of forest, yard and land clearing debris, either in piles, burn barrels or bon fires, are prohibited in eastern Washington on all private and state lands protected or managed by the Washington Departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife.

No campfires are allowed, except in approved, metal- or concrete-lined fire pits located in designated campgrounds. Recreationists traveling and cooking outside organized campgrounds may use self-contained camp stoves. All other fires are illegal.

This ban will remain in effect until the risk of wildfires has dropped to safe levels and further notice is given.

High fire risk threatens rural and suburban homes

More than 40 homes or outbuildings have been destroyed, and many more threatened, in five recent fires in eastern Washington.

Homeowners are encouraged to take the following steps to make their homes more firesafe, said Fire Prevention Specialist Bob Bannon of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

  • Maintain a vegetation-free area of at least 30 feet around homes and outbuildings.
  • Remove tree twigs and needles from building roofs.
  • Prune back tree branches and shrubs growing near buildings.
  • Stack firewood and combustible materials at least 30 feet away from buildings.
  • Make sure your home address is visible to firefighters, and that driveways are long and wide enough for fire trucks to turn around in.

Free Wildfire Safety Kit available

Details on how to fireproof your home and property is contained in a free, how-to illustrated guide which may be requested by calling 1-888-783-9548, Telephone Device for the Deaf at 1-800-833-6388 or by e-mailing your name and address to: forest_stewardship@wadnr.gov