Spokane County fire officials today [Friday] announced countywide burn restrictions as the fire danger increases due to dry conditions and brisk winds.
Dry summers are not unusual, says Spokane Valley Fire Marshal Greg Rogers. What’s different this year is the timing.
“We would normally see this after the Fourth of July and probably middle of July," Rogers said.
He says, because of the exceptionally dry spring and periodic winds, his agency is receiving a higher-than-usual number of calls for brush fires.
“A handful of the ones that we’ve had are out by the freeway or next to roads, which we know are mostly from people either discarding cigarettes or smoking materials," he said.
In other words, they’re human caused, which brings us to the new burn restrictions. Rogers says open burning is banned and so is recreational burning in back yard fire pits.
“The only thing that you would be allowed to burn in is what we call chimineas, which are the little ceramic things with the chimney. So any device that has a chimney on it is still legal to be able to use. If it’s something that has a screen over it and it’s like a metal pan with a screen over the top, those are actually considered illegal during the burn restriction," Rogers said.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources has also imposed burn restrictions on some of the state lands it manages.
You can call your local fire agency if you have questions.