State expands burn ban to include campfires

OLYMPIA — Washington State Parks announced Aug. 12 that campfires in all state parks will be prohibited until further notice to help prevent human-caused wildfires during the hot, dry season on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.

The prohibition on campfires in state parks complies with the announcement Monday by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which notified the public of a ban on all outdoor burning on lands protected by DNR, through Sept. 30.

The department currently rates all counties west of the Cascade Mountains as "moderate" risk, just below the "high" and "extreme" danger that the east side of the state is experiencing.

That agency has fire protection responsibility for all but a few state parks. Prohibiting open fires and campfires in all state parks is intended to minimize public confusion and cooperate in DNR’s effort to prevent wildfires.

DNR has said that significant demands are being placed upon fire suppression resources from regional and statewide firefighting efforts.

Campers in state parks will be allowed to use devices that allow for control of combustion, including:

• Propane and liquid gas stoves appropriate for camping and backcountry use

• Propane barbecue devices that do not use solid briquettes

• Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices that have a shield or base

• Lava rocks or lava logs may be used in propane grills and barbecues

• Solid fuel citronella or other candles in a metal bucket or glass container

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