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Burn ban in effect for Washington state parks, DNR lands due to high fire danger

Campfires and the use of charcoal briquettes are prohibited in Washington state parks and on DNR forest lands due to the increased fire risk and dry conditions.

SEATTLE — All Washington state parks and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land will be under a burn ban due to dry conditions and an elevated fire danger beginning Friday, July 2, 2021.

All state parks and ocean beaches are under a Level 3 burn ban starting at 5 p.m. Friday. A Level 3 burn ban prohibits the use of wood fires and charcoal briquettes. The use of gas/propane self-contained camping stoves and portable gas/propane firepits are permitted in designated state park camping and picnic sites, according to a press release.

Washington State Parks said the “campfire ban is necessary to help prevent accidental wildfires” and will be in effect until further notice.

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Campfires, charcoal briquettes and prescribed burns are also prohibited on all DNR forest lands through September 30. However, the DNR burn ban could be extended depending on fire conditions.

The burn ban on DNR forest land was prompted by prolonged drought conditions in much of the state and risks posed by Fourth of July fireworks, along with increased temperatures and winds.

Fireworks are prohibited at all state parks and on DNR forest lands.

“The record-breaking temperatures we saw last weekend have left our state bone dry,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “The risks from fireworks and other holiday activities make the situation even more precarious. I am asking everyone in Washington to do their part to protect our firefighters and our communities this summer. Please do not start a fire outside, and please do not set off your own fireworks this weekend.”

Fire officials joined Franz in urging Washington residents to skip out on fireworks this Fourth of July.

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“Fireworks have a ton of sparks, even the sparklers that kids have that make sparks, that can cause a fire, and those are safe and sane fireworks,” said DNR spokesperson Janet Pearce. “The bottom line is fireworks are extremely dangerous in our summertime.”

Anyone planning to go camping or visit a state park should check campfire ban levels and know what restrictions are in place and also prepare for any sudden restriction changes due to changing conditions.

As of July 2, there have been 577 fires on or have threatened DNR-protected lands, burning a total of 1,341 acres. Of those 577 fires, 440 have been on the east side of the state and 137 in western Washington.