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State announces outdoor burn ban in northwest Washington; feds set restrictions at national parks

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state announced an outdoor burn ban in northwest Washington, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

“The ban applies to all outdoor burning including recreation fires on state forests, state parks and forestlands under DNR fire protection within Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island and San Juan counties,” the Washington State Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.

“This ban also includes all outdoor fires on improved lands under county jurisdiction. Burn restrictions on federal lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies are set by local ranger stations. Federal burn restrictions are posted at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mbs .

Daily updates on burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels map https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/ifpl/

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

Fires powered by gas or propane stoves are allowed during this ban, it said.

Meanwhile, campfire restrictions were announced, starting Friday, for Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest.

“With the high fire danger and staff already committed to suppressing fires across the country, we are enacting this fire restriction to conserve our firefighting resources and to help prevent additional fires,” said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Lee Taylor.

Gas camp stoves may still be used in Olympic National Park’s wilderness backcountry, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter.  Taylor urges extreme caution with any open flame.

Also effective Friday, campfires or the ignition of wood, briquettes, or any fuel in fire pits, fire pans, and barbeque grills, are banned in all portions of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex – North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

“This includes all National Park Service lands and campgrounds along State Route 20 as well as Hozomeen and the entire Stehekin Valley. Stoves or grills that are solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels are allowed in all locations. The burn ban complements similar restrictions in the adjacent Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and British Columbia, Canada,” the North Cascades National Park Service said.