Gov. Jay Inslee today declared a statewide state of emergency relating to the growing risk of wildfires, including a statewide prohibition on most outdoor and agricultural burning through September 30, 2021.
"Washington is facing a historic drought and we have already experienced record-breaking heat. We must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent wildfires, and the loss of life and destruction of land and property that comes with them,” Inslee said. “We don’t want a repeat of recent years with dangerous wildfires across the state that have destroyed towns, killed livestock and resulted in weeks of unhealthy air quality. I urge everyone to do their part to help protect our beautiful state and all our communities.”
“We have seen a record-breaking number of fires for this early in the summer,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Extreme drought conditions leave communities across our state at risk as fire danger continues to climb. I’m asking everyone to do their part and take precautions to prevent wildfires. Our firefighters on the frontlines depend on us to help keep them safe.”
Although this order includes some burn ban exceptions (for example, the use of gas-fueled stoves in some circumstances and also small, recreational campfires in contained structures on a person’s private property) nothing in the order supersedes more restrictive provisions by a lawful authority, like city or county governments. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has implemented a burn ban for all state parks. More information is available here.
The proclamation also activates the Washington National Guard to assist in wildfire suppression efforts.
Read the full proclamation here.