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Breaking News: Grant & Okanogan Counties impose burn bans

 


Both Grant and Okanogan Counties imposed temporary burn bans on outdoor burning. Read the full press releases from each county below.

Grant County Board of County Commissioners

Press Release

June 28, 2017

For more information contact: Grant County Fire Marshal's Office Grant County Courthouse Ephrata, Washington 98823 Phone: (509) 754-2011 ext 3001

GRANT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IMPOSE

TEMPORARY BURN BAN

EPHRATA-The Grant County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) today imposed an emergency, temporary ban on outdoor burning effective immediately, Wednesday, June 28th at 12:00 p.m. The ban prohibits all outdoor burning until further notice and will be lifted once conditions improve. If citizens are caught burning, they could face fines and other consequences.

The Inland Northwest and Grant County are experiencing large wildland fires. Even though most of these fires have not been the result of open burning, the likelihood of large wildland fires is high. These fires are taxing on the local fire department personnel and equipment, in addition to exposing citizens to potential loss. As a result, the Commissioners are taking this measure to support local authorities and the recommendation of the County's Fire Marshal by imposing the immediate burn ban.

With the hot, dry, arid conditions, and a heavy load of dry grass and sagebrush throughout the county, officials are additionally anticipating new wildfires to ignite. The risks include nighttime fires which may be ignited by summertime lightning storms.

• No burning of yard wastes, (tree, shrub and grass clippings), garbage, ditch banks, building materials and etc. NO BURN BARRELS

• Agricultural burning allowed when properly permitted by Ecology.

• Recreational Fires in approved devices at public campgrounds when allowed by the campground authority. Recreational fires in private pits or residences when surrounded by 25 feet of non-combustible material and a charged water line is present and attended at all times.

• Fires for cooking purposes must be permitted prior to the event.

• Open flames associated with gas barbeques or charcoal start-up are allowed in a safe and sane manner. These devices to be used in an area away from combustible materials including vegetation and must be attended at all times.

• If conditions worsen the BOCC may impose additional measures to prevent fires this summer.

The county burn ban does not change the burn ban already imposed on all cities in Grant County. Since 2007, burning bans have been imposed by the Washington Department of Ecology for all cities and within Urban Growth Areas. When the countywide burn ban is lifted, the Ecology burn bans for all cities will still be in place.

The county ban does not affect fires at State or Federal campgrounds in approved devices, (check for state or federal bans) or agricultural burning such as the burning of field crop residue and orchard tear out residue, provided the burning is permitted and conducted in accordance with the Washington Department of Ecology. For more information on agro burning, contact the Department of Ecology at 509-329-3400.

End of Notice

OKANOGAN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

RESOLUTION 104-2017

DECLARATiON OF HAZARDOUS FIRE CONDITIONS

WHEREAS, Okanogan County is experiencing weather conditions that are contributing to unusual fire conditions, and the potential for large and catastrophic fires exists that may be a threat to life and cause damage or destruction to homes, businesses, orchards /farmlands and natural resources.

WHEREAS, the potential for damage to homes and businesses, orchards/farmland and natural resources is high.

WHEREAS, upon consultation with rural Fire Chiefs, Fire Districts and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it is hereby declared that a hazardous situation exists.

WHEREAS, Dan McCarthy, Pest Control Agent, has reported that Fire Blight has been a problem in several orchards throughout the county and the best method for preventing the spread of Fire Blight is to burn the infected trees; and,

WHEREAS, Dan McCarthy will permit the burning of infected trees in the green belt by special burn permit and after site inspection; and property owners will be required to have on site sufficient water supply and fire tools to man the burn at all times until fire is extinguished.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Okanogan County Commissioners' as follows:

Section #1: That it is hereby declared that a hazardous situation exists and that actions involving various county and other local agencies must be taken to help alleviate threats and damages.

Section #2: Because of the hazardous fire conditions existing in Okanogan County there is established a burn ban by the Commissioners' on outdoor burning of combustible materials in the County. Combustible materials may include, but are not limited to, outdoor burning of yard waste and none emergent agricultural burning.

This resolution does not apply to silvicultural burning on lands regulated solely by DNR's outdoor burning rules and regulations, fire in DNR recreation sites and campgrounds, on U.S. Forest Service protected lands and within the Colville Reservation. However, the DNR, U.S. Forest Service and Colville Tribes may have similar burn bans in effect and citizens of the county are strongly encouraged to contact the DNR's burn information number at 1-800-323-BURN(2876), the U.S. forest Service Tonasket Ranger District at 509-486-2186 and Methow Valley Ranger District at 509-996-4003 or Colville Confederated Tribes at 509-634-3100 for information on current outdoor burning restrictions of each agency.

Recreational fires:

The use of gas or charcoal fired barbecues is allowed.

Exemption:

The Fire Advisory Board, Okanogan County Commissioners and or the Fire District Chief may allow a recreational fire exemption during times when outdoor burning-fires are prohibited providing:

This exemption will only apply to those improved private recreational areas located within Okanogan County. This exemption does not apply on lands assessed and regulated by DNR, on USFS lands, or on lands within the Colville Reservation as described in Section #2 of this Resolution.

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material shall be eliminated prior to ignition. Recreational fires shall be no larger than three feet in diameter and shall not be associated with any debris, yard, or garden clean-up.

Attendance:

Open burning, camp fires, or recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is completely extinguished. The attendant shall have some form of fire-extinguishing equipment such as a shovel and dirt, sand, class A fire extinguisher, water barrel, garden hose, or water truck sufficient to extinguish the fire and available for immediate use.

Definitions:

Open Burning:

The burning of materials wherein the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudge pots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames or recreational fires. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open.

Recreational Fire:

An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish were the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill and is contained within a 3 feet or less diameter concrete or steel ring no less than 8 inches in height and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.

Section #3: This burn ban is effective f􀀢9􀀣i􀀥􀀦􀀧1 􀀄n􀀆􀀇ill continue to be enforced until official notice is made rescinding the burn ban by the Commissioners'.

Agriculture Burning:

Section #4: Dan McCarthy is hereby authorized to proceed with issuing special burn permits and will contact DNA, DOE, and local fire districts when arranging to burn said infected material. The board authorizes an emergency burn exemption on the burning of Fire Blight infected trees when a special permit is obtained.

Dated at Okanogan, Washington this iJd day of 􀀁/1L 2017 .

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OKANOGAN, WASHINGTON

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