Fire danger moderate on North Olympic Peninsula

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Fire danger is moderate across the North Olympic Peninsula, the state Department of Natural Resources said on the eve of the Labor Day weekend.

DNR urged campers, recreationists, woods workers and other forest visitors to be especially careful with fire over the holiday weekend.

“Eighty-five percent of Washington’s wildfires are human-caused,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

“Please help us stop wildfires before they start.”

DNR has a burn ban in place until Sept. 30 for all 12.7 million acres of public and private lands it protects from wildfire.

During the ban, campfires may be allowed, but only in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds.

Campers are not allowed to build their own fire pits.

All other outdoor burning is banned. The use of gas and propane barbecues and self-contained stoves are allowed.

Additional local restrictions may apply.

Because campgrounds may choose to ban campfires, it’s best to check with the campground host before lighting a campfire.

In areas where campfires are allowed, DNR makes these suggestions:

■ Use an existing fire ring; don’t create a new one.

■ Clear all vegetation away from the fire ring.

■ Keep the campfire small.

■ Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.

■ Never leave a campfire unattended.

DNR also offers suggestions about putting out a campfire.

First, drown it with water. Then, mix the ashes and embers with soil.

Scrape all partially burned sticks and logs to make sure all the hot embers are off them and stir the embers after they are covered with water to ensure they are wet.

Feel the coals, embers and any partially burned wood. Everything should be cool to the touch. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

Then, add more water. Stir the remains, add more water and stir again.

In the absence of water, use moist dirt, but be careful not to bury any hot or burning material, since it can smolder and later start a wildfire.

Finally, check the entire campsite for possible sparks or embers, DNR said.

The “moderate” fire danger rating for Clallam and Jefferson counties was set Aug. 12, DNR said on its website at, which shows fire danger and burning restrictions by county.

For land clearing and residential backyard burning regulations, phone the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency at 800-422-5623.

For more information, phone Olympic Region DNR at 360-374-2800.

Last modified: September 01. 2011 9:08PM
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