A historic heat wave is on the way for much of the Northwest. Temperatures will soar to record high levels this weekend as Spokane sees the potential for the highest June temperature ever recorded.
It will be so hot this weekend that widespread high-temperature records will be broken. Temperatures will trend almost 30 degrees above normal. In Spokane, that puts high temperatures above 100 degrees starting Saturday and staying there through at least the first part of next week.
Here is a list of counties and recreational areas that currently have a burn ban in place.
The Bureau of Land Management has issued burn bans for a majority of Eastern Washington Counties beginning on Thursday, July 1.
Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties are all under the following restrictions.
Building, maintaining or attending a fire is prohibited under this ban. The only exception is at Liberty Campground. Discharging firearms unless on a lawful hunt is also now prohibited on federal land.
Operating an off road motor vehicle on undeveloped roadways on Bureau land is also no longer allowed in order to prevent any brushfires in the dry brush surrounding trails.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife restricts campfires and other activities east of the Cascades
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is restricting campfires and other activities on department-managed lands in Eastern Washington beginning on Friday, June 25.
This will help reduce the risk of fire on state wildlife and water access areas.
Spokane Parks and Recreation restrictions
Spokane County Parks, Recreation & Golf will close the Liberty Lake Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Park to motorized vehicle use effective Saturday, June 26th, 2021.
In addition to the campfire ban, a temporary restriction on firearm use will also begin on Friday. Target shooting and other gun use will be prohibited, but the discharge of a firearm for legal hunting will still be permitted.
Overall, the emergency order that imposes restrictions east of the Cascades prohibits:
- Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.
- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.
- The discharge of firearms for target-shooting or other purposes by anyone not engaged in lawful hunting.
- Welding and operating chainsaws, including the use of an acetylene torch or other open flame.
- Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.
Areas with burn bans in place in Washington
• Spokane County: Outdoor recreational fires, open burns, rule burns and permit burns are currently prohibited in Spokane County.
• Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area: The burn ban goes into effect on Friday, June 25.
• Okanogan County: The ban is currently in effect.
• Lincoln County: No small debris disposal fires (burns without a written DNR permit)
• Kanikusa (NE Washington) Fire Danger Rating Area (FDRA): Permit and rule burns are not allowed.
• Foothills FDRA: Permit Burns and Rule burns are not allowed. Campfires are allowed in approved, designated campgrounds only.
• Upper Basin FDRA: Permit burns and rule burns are not allowed. Campfires are allowed in approved, designated campgrounds only.
• Valley FDRA: Permit burns and rule burns are not allowed. Campfires are allowed in approved, designated campgrounds only.
• Asotin County: All permit burning, rule burning, and campfires are not allowed.
• Kootenai County: Burning will be closed for all fires except recreational fires in an approved fire pit. This is because the extreme temperatures, low humidity have raised fire dangers in Kootenai County.
Kootenai County Fire also reminded residents to only use safe and sane fireworks as the Fourth of July approaches. Those are fireworks that remain near the ground and do not travel outside a 20-foot diameter. Safe and sane fireworks include cone fountains, sparklers, wheels, and whistles.
• Coeur d'Alene Fire does not have one in effect, but has raised the fire danger signs at Tubbs Hill. Camp fires, fireworks and smoking are not allowed on Tubbs Hill at any time.
The city of Post Falls also reminds residents that per City Code 8.08.040, it's prohibited to set off fireworks anywhere other than personal private property. Public parks, playgrounds, schools, parking lots, alleys, trails, streets and sidewalks are also illegal.
“With an extremely dry and hot spring and summer, the risk of fire danger in our area has greatly increased,” a Post Falls news release said Thursday. “We encourage everyone to do their part to prevent fires by following all fireworks rules and regulations as well as making sure to secure matches and lighters after celebrating with Safe and Sane fireworks.”
While it's legal to have open, outdoor recreational fires in Kootenai County, KCFCA said all fires must meet the following requirements:
• Outdoor recreational fires must not have a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
• Fires can only be used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
• Individuals shall initiate no fire within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.
• Recreational fires in approved portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be conducted within 15-feet of a structure or combustible material.
• Fires shall be constantly attended to until the fire is extinguished.
• A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of 4-A rating or another extinguishing method must be available for immediate utilization.
Spokane is also under an extreme heat warning starting Friday, June 25 through Tuesday, June 29.
We will be updating this story when new bans are announced and when current ones are lifted.