Statewide ban expands upon local restrictions | Burn ban update

With multiple fires burning on the landscape and communities suffering from dense layers of smoke, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded its burn ban to cover the entire state.

“Wildfire and smoke is affecting every community around the state as we see the hot, dry summer take its toll on our forests,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Without any relief from this weather in the foreseeable future and with our firefighters spread across the Northwest, we can no longer allow outdoor burning anywhere in Washington.”

DNR has been implementing burn restrictions regionally as local conditions warranted. The statewide ban means outdoor burning is prohibited on all forestlands that DNR protects from wildfire. Anyone caught violating the burn ban can face fines. Prescribed ecological burns in rare instances may be allowed if expressly approved by Franz.

Burn restrictions on federally-owned lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas are administered by federal agencies. Counties and local fire districts may have additional burn restrictions.

On Monday, Labor Day, DNR firefighters responded to 21 new fire starts.

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are always illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands.

A copy of the commissioner’s order is available at

As of Thursday, Aug. 31, there is a county-wide burn ban being enacted in San Juan County. This means no outdoor burning of recreational campfires or outdoor burning of wood in fire bowls or patio fire places.

Charcoal and propane barbeques continue to be allowed outside of parks and campgrounds. Use extreme caution with outdoor cooking and keep a charged hose nearby or a bucket of water if possible.

This burn ban coincides with the closing of all burning in state parks in San Juan County as well as an expected period of hot weather with temperatures increasing over the course of the Labor Day weekend.

Refer to the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s website for the most up to date burning status. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.