DNR institutes campfire ban

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources has banned campfires on all lands east of the Cascades protected by the agency.

The ban went into effect Friday, Aug. 17.

“We’ve had 47 wildfires started by campfires this year,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “With nine active, large wildfires in eastern Washington and a long season still ahead of us, it’s imperative that we’re doing all we can to minimize additional risk.”

Some western Washington campgrounds still allow campfires, but only in approved fire pits within state, county, municipal or private campgrounds. Franz advises checking with local authorities before lighting any fire.

As of Friday, DNR had responded to more than 1,050 wildfires this season. They have burned across more than 280,000 acres. Nearly 3,700 state, federal and local firefighters are deployed in Washington.

Statewide, fire danger remains high or extreme, with temperatures forecast to rise later this week.

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