Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has banned all outdoor fires on lands protected by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), including campfires in all state, local and private campgrounds.

According to the Kent Reporter, hot and dry conditions have made the potential for wildfire unusually high on both sides of the Cascade Mountains, according to a DNR media release. Significant demands are being placed upon our fire suppression resources from both regional and statewide firefighting efforts. The ban is in effect through Sept. 30 and prohibits campfires in developed campgrounds and other recreational fires. The ban also prohibits prescribed burns.

“Now is the time to be vigilant. It is everyone’s responsibility to be appropriately cautious during this season,” Goldmark said. “The risk of wildfire is unusually high and the consequences could be catastrophic. We have hundreds of firefighters fighting two major wildfires and numerous smaller fires in Washington State. Our resources are stretched thin.”

Wildfires are often ignited by lightning, and this week’s weather forecasts indicate a significant potential for lightning-caused wildfires. Most fires are caused by human activities. Some of the most destructive fire threats to the state’s wild lands and homes in rural areas can be traced to three sources: carelessly tended outdoor fires, indefensible home sites, and sparks caused by equipment or vehicles.

With fire season here, DNR encourages homeowners to take steps to decrease the risk of wildfire destroying their homes. Learn more about Firewise Communities at www.firewise.org.

Fire safety information

  • No campfires are allowed on any land protected by DNR, even in developed campgrounds.
  • Be sure recreational vehicles have operating spark arresters.
  • Do not park any vehicles in dry, grassy areas as residual heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
  • It is illegal to discharge fireworks or use incendiary ammunition or exploding targets on DNR-protected lands.