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Gov. Inslee amends emergency proclamation to include an Eastern Washington burn ban

July 21, 2014

Story 

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today amended an emergency proclamation to include a ban on most outdoor and agricultural burning for 20 counties east of the crest of the Cascades beginning immediately, and continuing until noon Friday, July 25. The ban may be extended if conditions warrant.

“Weather conditions including high winds, lightning and high temperatures continue to make conditions extremely challenging,” Inslee said. “Our resources are stretched thin and fire crews are doing everything possible. We must take every possible precaution to reduce the risk of additional fires.”

Under the amended proclamation, outdoor burning includes but is not limited to:

  • Campfires
  • Bonfires
  • Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity
  • Ignition of fireworks

Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided the use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions. Campfires at designated areas in state, county and municipal parks and campgrounds can continue in accordance with current and ongoing restrictions. Campers and visitors should check on the restrictions in place at individual parks.

Inslee is also asking Washingtonians to use common sense when engaging in outdoor activities this weekend.

“People are spending a lot of time outdoors and sometimes forget how quickly these fires happen,” Inslee said. “We all need to remind one another to be safe and smart when working or playing outside.”

Any restrictions in place by local jurisdictions that are more restrictive than that of the governor’s proclamation will remain in effect. The restrictions in the governor’s amended emergency proclamation have the same force as law, and include criminal penalties for violations.

The Washington State Military Department’s Emergency Management Division is providing regular online updates on fire response efforts.

A state of emergency went into effect on July 14 in 20 Eastern Washington counties in response to multiple wildfires threatening homes, businesses, public infrastructure and natural resources. The governor’s emergency proclamation covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima counties.

Media Contact 

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136