Fire restrictions go into effect to protect Washington communities
May 24, 2023, 10:08 AM | Updated: 11:07 am
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
The U.S. Department of the Interior started their process of summer fire restrictions Tuesday, in an effort to protect communities across Washington state.
Fire restrictions affect where you can start a campfire, operate a chainsaw, smoke, or even visit. A full list of fire restrictions can be found on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website.
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The use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns are also prohibited.
“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe from accidental wildfires,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director. “We are seeing more invasive grass due to the wet weather, which dries out quickly without rain. Everyone can help by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on your public lands.”
An estimated 87% of wildfires nationally are caused by humans, and last year an estimated 140,000 acres were burned due to wildfires, the worst of which was the Bolt Creek Fire which burned 14,820 acres alone.
Throughout Oregon and Washington, the BLM is in charge of 16.1 million acres of public lands and its protection from wildfires. The BLM Oregon and Washington Fire Program is responsible for fire suppression, treatment of hazardous fuels, fire prevention, fire investigation, and fire rehabilitation on BLM-managed public lands.
Those who violate the restriction can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year.