Gov. Chris Gregoire on Sunday extended a burn ban for all counties east of the Cascade crest, banning all outdoor burning through midnight Sunday, Oct. 7. A state of emergency remains in effect.
“Fire danger remains very high with our extended warm, dry weather conditions,” Gregoire said in a statement. “I don’t want to lose momentum on the tremendous job our fire crews and firefighters have done and continue to do each day. The assistance and cooperation of all Washingtonians who have refrained from burning is essential. We would not be as able to focus our resources and continue to help keep people safe and protect property if our attention is diverted to additional fires.”
The decision to extend the band an additional week stemmed from abnormally dry conditions; a forecast for the next seven to 10 days with no substantial precipitation; and expected periods of strong northerly winds.
The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to campfires, bonfires, residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, clearing, weed abatement, agricultural burning activity and ignition of fireworks.
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Local fire departments may still issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.
Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted, as long as use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private homes under the same conditions.
Gregoire noted that smoke-filled air continues to linger in parts of eastern Washington and urged state to protect themselves from smoke-filled air. The state Department of Ecology is monitoring air quality statewide.
Check here for air-quality monitoring information.
The state Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke here.