June 19, 2015
Contact: WDFW Wildlife Program, (360) 902-2515
OLYMPIA – The arrival of hot, dry weather, combined with drought conditions, has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to restrict fires and other activities effective immediately on agency-managed lands in eastern Washington.
Clay Sprague, manager of the WDFW Lands Division, said the department is taking steps to reduce fire risk in its wildlife areas and access areas several weeks earlier than it did last year.
The emergency order now in effect prohibits:
- Fires or campfires: However, personal camp stoves or lanterns fueled by liquid petroleum, liquid petroleum gas or propane are allowed.
- Smoking: Unless in an enclosed vehicle.
- Welding and the use of chainsaws and other equipment: Operating a torch with an open flame and equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.
- Operating a motor vehicle off developed roads: Except when parking in areas without vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway and parking in developed campgrounds and at trailheads.
Fireworks are prohibited year-round at all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 700-plus water access sites around the state. So is throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway.
These restrictions are consistent with efforts by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other local, state and federal agencies to minimize the risk of wildfires, Sprague said.
The restrictions in these areas will remain in effect until conditions improve and the risk of wildfires decreases, Sprague said. Any changes will be posted on the department's website: http://wdfw.wa.gov.
DNR has expanded its burn ban on lands it protects from eastern Washington to west of the Cascades. DNR’s burn ban includes forested lands on WDFW wildlife areas and access sites in western Washington.
For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the DNR website (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) or the U.S. Forest Service website (http://www.fs.usda.gov).