OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources is expanding burn restrictions on lands it protects in eastern Washington.

The landscape is drying out and fire risk has increased, said the agency. Unattended or improperly extinguished burn piles had caused 216 fires as of late last week, and accounted for almost half of all DNR fires so far this year.

Overall, DNR has already experienced more than 437 fires statewide, compared to a 10-year average of 178 at this point in the year. Drought conditions are present in much of the state.

Additional burn restrictions effective Friday, June 11:

-Permit burning is not allowed in the Highlands, Kaniksu, Methow, Upper Basin and Valley fire danger rating areas.

-Rule burning (small debris disposal fire) is not allowed in the Kaniksu and Valley areas.

-Campfires are allowed only in approved, designated campgrounds in the Chelan, Kaniksu, Lower Basin, Lower Yakima, Upper Basin, Upper Yakima and Valley areas.

Fire danger ratings are moderate in Highlands, Foothills, Valley, Kaniksu, Methow, Upper Yakima, Lower Yakima and Chelan areas, and high in Upper Basin and Lower Basin.

Daily updates on burn restrictions and industrial fire precaution levels are at 800-323-BURN or on the website.

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