Fire danger is high; outdoor burn ban begins on Saturday

The Kitsap County Fire Chiefs’ Association, in conjunction with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office, announced Thursday that they will impose a Phase I Outdoor Burning Ban on 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Local fire danger is increasing dramatically under the current hot and dry conditions which are projected to intensify over the weekend. Officials are imposing the ban in an effort to limit the most common cause of wildfires – outdoor burning – and urge the public to exercise extreme caution with all ignition sources.

Under a Phase I Outdoor Burning Ban, outdoor burning permits are temporarily suspended and no outdoor burning is allowed except for cooking fires in contained barbecue units and recreational fires.  A “recreational” fire

is defined as follows:

— Built in a designated fire pit space,

— No larger than three feet in diameter,

— Containing seasoned firewood or charcoal briquettes only,

— Located in a space well clear of vegetation, and at least 25 feet from buildings, fences, or anything that might burn,

— Attended at all times by an alert adult with immediate access to a shovel and a water source.

Outdoor burning is the most common cause of wildland fires. The potential for dangerous fire spread in Western Washington is increasing as vegetation moisture content decreases due to a late but prolonged spell of warm and dry weather. Two incidents clearly illustrate officials’ concerns. The Big Hump Fire, nine miles west of Brinnon, has consumed 475 acres of timber and on Thursday was 0 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s active fire mapping website. The Beckett Point blaze, west of Port Townsend, threatened homes and scorched more than 20 acres before it was contained.

Officials hope that the coming burn ban will limit the potential for similar incidents in Kitsap County. The ban will remain in place until significant and sustained rainfall improves conditions.

For more information on outdoor burning and local restrictions, contact your local fire agency:

— Bainbridge Island Fire Department, (206) 842-7686.

— Bremerton Fire Department, (360) 473-5380.

— Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue at (360) 447-3555.

— North Kitsap Fire & Rescue at (360) 297-4888.

— Poulsbo Fire Department at (360) 779-3997.

— South Kitsap Fire & Rescue at (360) 871-2425.


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