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DNR fire season starts Tuesday

April 9, 2014

Wildfire season officially begins April 15, as specified by state law, and already 20 forest fires have been reported this year on lands protected by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Washington’s “summer fire rules” are in effect through Oct. 15. These rules apply to the 13 million acres of private and state forestlands protected from wildfire by DNR.
Last year, 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.
DNR reminds 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.
Dry and unhealthy forests remain a fire hazard and will for many years. 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 at risk.
Wildfire season 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.

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