July 25, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 14

County implements burn ban

Spokane County has implemented a burn ban in all unincorporated areas of the county, prohibiting the use of unauthorized opening burning or recreational fires. The ban went into effect Monday, July 22 and is in place until further notice.

The ban does not apply to the use of manufactured portable outdoor fireplaces, barbecues and outdoor fireplaces, patio warmers used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Only approved fuels may be used in these devices such as seasoned (clean and dry) firewood, briquettes and natural or propane gas.

Designated campfires in parks and campgrounds may be allowed as approved and determined by agencies with jurisdiction. The state Department of Natural Resources has had a statewide burn ban in effect on all DNR-protected lands since July 1, which applies to all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands, and allows campgrounds to implement additional burn restrictions.

Always check with your campground host before starting a campfire.

Furthermore DNR has raised the Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) for logging and industrial operations in forested areas in Northeast Washington, including portions of Lincoln and Spokane counties, to level 2, effective July 23. IFPL restrictions limit the following activities and may operate only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.: Power saws, except at loading sites, cable yarding, blasting and welding or cutting of metal.

Those using chainsaws in the forest, including cutting firewood, must follow certain rules: Chainsaws must have approved, working exhaust systems; a one-hour fire watch must follow the last use of a chainsaw; a fire extinguisher, containing at least 8 ounces of retardant, must be in the immediate vicinity of where the chainsaw is used and a shovel must be retrievable in two minutes or less.

Violation of the Spokane County burn ban order is a misdemeanor and shall be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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