OLYMPIA – A state of emergency relating to wildfire risk was declared July 6 by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The declaration came with a statewide prohibition on most outdoor and agricultural burning through Sept. 30.
“Washington is facing a historic drought and we have already experienced record-breaking heat,” said Inslee. “We must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent wildfires, and the loss of life and destruction of land and property that comes with them.
“We don’t want a repeat of recent years with dangerous wildfires across the state that have destroyed towns, killed livestock and resulted in weeks of unhealthy air quality. I urge everyone to do their part to help protect our beautiful state and all our communities.”
“We have seen a record-breaking number of fires for this early in the summer,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Extreme drought conditions leave communities across our state at risk as fire danger continues to climb.
“I’m asking everyone to do their part to and take precautions to prevent wildfires. Our firefighters on the front lines depend on us to help keep them safe.”
Although the order includes some burn ban exceptions - for example, the use of gas-fueled stoves in some circumstances and also small, recreational campfires in contained structures on a person’s private property - nothing in the order supersedes more restrictive provisions by a lawful authority, like city or county governments.
The proclamation also activates the Washington National Guard to assist in wildfire suppression efforts.