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Fire Marshal Extends Burn Ban in King County

Due to continued dry weather, the King County Fire Marshal has extended the burn ban first declared in July until further notice.

A county-wide burn ban that was declared from July 15 through August 30 has been extended until further notice by the King County Fire Marshal due to continued dry weather, a county press release said Tuesday. 

In King County Fire Protection District No. 44, the ban is extended at least through Sunday, September 9.

"Brush and wildland fires utilize a lot of fire department resources and can take days to completely extinguish," said Fire Chief Greg Smith in a press release issued Tuesday.  

Fire District 44's wildland team has been deployed to fires in other jurisdictions in King and Pierce County in the last week. Smith said, "We won't open burning until we have had some appreciable rain; it's just not worth the risk."

Monday marked the 43rd day in a row of dry weather in the Puget Sound region -- the forecast calls for warm and dry weather at least until the end of the week. The driest streak in the Seattle area is 51 days, in 1951. The last rain at Sea-Tac Airport was .04 inches on July 22, marking 43 days and counting. The month of August 2012 has entered the books as the driest August on record.

Recreational Fires utilizing approved fuel and restrictions are not closed. We ask that everyone please use extreme caution outdoors during this high fire danger period, said Smith.

Fire District 44 has an annual burn ban for "yard vegetation open burning" every year, typically lasting from July through Labor Day weekend. The State Department of Natural Resources has placed the fire danger at "HIGH" on the West Side; fuel moisture levels are measured to determine Fire Danger.

For more information please contact Tim Perciful at tperciful@kcfd44.org or 253-508-7273.

In the county, the Phase 1 burn ban applies to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved camp grounds or private property with the owner’s permission. These fires must:

  • Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
  • Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
  • Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches; and
  • Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire shall be in constant attendance at the site while burning.

For more information, visit the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) Fire Marshal website at: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/FireMarshal/BurnBanInfo.aspx

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