OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is limiting logging and other industrial operations in forested areas of Eastern Washington in an effort to minimize the danger of accidental fires as dry conditions persist.
The DNR announced Friday that the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) will be changed Aug. 26 to limit industrial activities in the eastern slopes of the Cascades in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima Counties. In a Level 2 alert, cable yarding, blasting ,welding and using chainsaws in the woods can only be done between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. All operations in forested areas must have fire tools on site, and someone must watch the work for an hour after equipment shuts down to ensure no fire has started.
Even people cutting for firewood must recognize the time restrictions. Chainsaws are allowed at loading sites.
The levels are established for each of 38 “shutdown zones” in the state on the basis of National Fire Danger Rating System data.
Currently, there is a statewide burn ban on 13 million acres of forestlands in Washington. Campgrounds may have additional burn restrictions in place. Campers should check with their campground host or the local fire district before starting a campfire.