OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire Friday night amended an emergency proclamation to include a ban on all outdoor and agricultural burning for all counties east of the crest of the Cascades beginning immediately, and continuing until midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 18th.
"With more warm, dry weather expected – the potential for additional fire activity remains incredibly high," Gregoire said. "Our fire crews are already pushed to the limits. We have to take every step possible to lessen our risk of more fires during this especially vulnerable time."
Under the amended proclamation, outdoor burning includes but is not limited to:
Campfires Bonfires Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity Ignition of fireworks.
Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided the use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.
Gregoire is also asking Washingtonians to use common sense when engaging in outdoor activities this weekend.
"I'm not asking Washingtonians to think twice," Gregoire said. "I'm asking people to think three times before doing even every day activities. For instance, a hot car parked on dry vegetation is responsible for a large wildfire earlier this month in the Angeles National Forest in California."
Any restrictions in place by local jurisdictions that are more restrictive than that of the governor's proclamation will remain in effect. The restrictions in the governor's amended emergency proclamation have the same force as law, and include criminal penalties for violations.
Meanwhile, health officials continue to warn of poor air quality across the state and are advising people to take common sense health precautions, consider advisories and alerts from their local health departments and consult with their personal physicians. Air quality values are ranging from hazardous in the Wenatchee area to very unhealthy in Clarkston, and unhealthy in Ritzville, Pullman and LaCrosse.