Wildfire season officially
begins April 15
Prevention measures to protect life and property are in effect
April 15 through October 15 on 13 million acres of DNR-protected
OLYMPIA – Wildfire season officially begins
April 15, as specified by state law, and already the Washington
State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has had 20 forest
fires reported this year on lands protected by DNR.
DNR wants to remind people that the risk of
wildfires can change rapidly during the spring when warmer,
dryer weather occurs with increasing frequency.
Wildfires can damage natural resources,
destroy homes, and threaten the safety of the public and the
firefighters who protect forests and communities.
Last year, a total of 764 fires burned
approximately 126,219 acres. In 2013, 94 percent of the
wildfires that burned on DNR-protected lands were contained to
less than 10 acres in size. Overall, 70 percent of the wildfires
on DNR-protected lands in 2013 were human-caused.
Dry and unhealthy forests continue to be a
fire hazard and will for many years. It takes only one spark to
start a fire that can have catastrophic results. Prevention of
human-caused wildfires can reduce the risk of expensive,
disruptive wildfires that damage habitat for birds, fish, and
wildlife. These fires destroy homes and threaten the safety of
the public and firefighters who protect forests and communities
Washington’s summer fire rules
Washington’s “summer fire rules” are in
effect April 15 through October 15. These rules apply to the 13
million acres of private and state forestlands protected from
wildfire by DNR.
These regulations affect loggers, firewood
cutters, land clearers, road builders, bulldozer operators,
off-road motorcyclists, and others. During fire season, people
using motorized equipment in the woods must have approved spark
arresters and follow fire safety precautions. In addition, those
working in the woods must have fire prevention and extinguishing
equipment in good working order at the job site and workers
trained in proper use.
The rules are intended to prevent forest
fires and to extinguish small fires before they spread. Those
same rules restrict cigarette smoking in forested areas to
roads, gravels pits, or other clearings. They also prohibit
lighting fireworks on forestland.
connected during wildfire season
DNR’s Fire Twitter:
DNR Fire Update:
Incident Information System (InciWeb):
Daily fire risk ratings
available by phone and Internet
Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL)
may change daily and classify varying levels of fire danger in
different parts of the state. People who work in the woods must
observe the IFPL. More information is available from the
DNR’s website at
Click on Fire Information to review regional
precaution levels, a map of
current shutdown zones, and a copy of DNR’s Industrial Fire
Precaution Level Bulletin.
business line at 1-800-527-3305 plays a message identifying
industrial fire precaution
levels, which are listed by geographical region. The hearing
impaired can phone
Telephone Device for the Deaf at 1-800-833-6388.
Email DNR at
Ask questions or request a copy of DNR’s Industrial
Fire Precaution Level Bulletin or
additional information on safe outdoor burning of forest debris
and safe recreational campfire tips.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible
for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of
private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state's
largest on-call fire department, with over 1,100 employees
trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed.
During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who
have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal
employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally,
Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of
Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation
Administration juvenile offenders participate in the DNR
correctional camps program. DNR also participates in
Washington's coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122,
purpose of this on-line video library is to provide a single,
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