With little chance soon for a break in the prolonged stretch of unusually dry weather in Western Washington, the state Department of Natural Resources is extending the statewide burn ban through Oct. 15.
The ban has been in place since July and continues because of the extreme risk of wildfire. The ban on outdoor burning applies to all DNR-protected public, private and tribal lands on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.
The National Weather Service expects the current danger of extreme fire weather in Western Washington to continue into the weekend, said a DNR news release.
The state has had no measureable rain in August, and September was the third driest on record. The warning was spurred by a weather pattern causing relative humidity to remain uncharacteristically low overnight. The exceptionally low overnight humidity causes grasses, brush and other “fuels” to become bone dry.
“We have not seen wildfire conditions this bad in October in a lifetime,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in the news release. “I’m concerned that the shorter days and colder weather will lull some people into thinking it’s safe to build campfires or bonfires. We need everyone to be cautious, alert and aware of the burn restrictions.”
The 12 million acres affected by the ban includes all forestlands in Washington, except for federal lands which have their own published restrictions. Campgrounds may have additional burn restrictions in place. Campers should check with their campground host before starting a campfire.
This ban will effect deer hunters as they head out for the opening of the modern firearm season that opens Oct. 13 in many areas of the state.