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Burn restrictions in Eastern Washington due to increased fire danger effective over Memorial Day weekend

The restrictions are a response to an increase in fire danger and more fires caused by people burning debris outdoors and dry, warm days.

WASHINGTON — The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced they are adding new burn restrictions on DNR-protected lands in eastern Washington. 

The new restrictions are effective Friday, May 28.

The restrictions are a response to an increase in fire danger and an increase in fires caused by people burning debris outdoors and dry, warm days.

Here are the protocols that will be in place starting Friday:

  • Rule burning (small debris disposal fires) is limited to a 4-foot diameter pile in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Chelan, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Upper Yakima and Upper Basin outside of Spokane County and South of Hwy 2.

These are the burn restrictions that are still in place:

  • Campfires are not allowed except in approved designated campgrounds in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Foothills, and Upper Basin in Spokane, and portions of Lincoln County north of Hwy. 2.
  • Rule burning is still not allowed in the following Fire Danger Rating Areas: Foothills and Upper Basin in Spokane and portions of Lincoln County north of Hwy. 2.

The DNR said the best way to be certain a burn pile is fully extinguished is to dig into the ash and feel the area with the back of your hand to make sure there is no heat left. It is common for rain to create a cap over the ash, with heat remaining inside. Winds can weaken the cap and allow the pile to reignite.

They also said campfires should be doused with water and stirred until all coals are completely extinguished and cool to the touch.

Fire danger will increase from moderate to high in the Lower Basin and from low to moderate in Chelan, Lower Yakima, Methow and Upper Yakima.

The DNR said a misdemeanor citation will be issued to those who do not comply with the burn restrictions. A misdemeanor citation will also be issued for people who do not follow the rules and conditions of their burn permits.

Residents can find specific danger areas their Fire Danger Rating Area on the DNR website.