King County issues Stage 2 burn ban in light of high temps | Local Services

All outdoor fires (fire bits and campfires) are prohibited; barbecues and grills are still allowed to be used.

  • Thursday, August 17, 2023 3:07pm
  • News
File photo

The following is a press release from the King County Department of Local Services:

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for unincorporated King County (areas outside city limits), which were already under a Stage 1 burn ban.

The ban goes into effect immediately and is extended into cities through coordination with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Marshals.

The forecast for the next few days calls for temperatures in the 90s for much of King County, where the fuel load in vegetation has been significantly increased by the dry summer and high temperatures. The winds that have created red flag warnings and an increase in recent brush fires warrant additional safety measures for our community—especially given that Washington has already stretched its wildfire fighting resources throughout the region.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, all outdoor fires, such as those in backyard fire pits or campfires that use chopped firewood or charcoal, are prohibited. Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue such burning when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with a misdemeanor.

The use of manufactured portable outdoor devices is allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices—including those that rely on charcoal, natural gas, or propane gas—are also allowed. Please use caution when disposing of charcoal remains. People who smoke should exercise extreme caution with their ashes and when they’re extinguishing cigarettes.

The county asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember that this is a demanding time for first responders.

“During this time of the year—when there’s high temperatures and dry conditions—residents need to exercise extreme caution to not start a fire,” Ricketts said. “Something as simple starting an outdoor recreational fire or flicking a cigarette on the ground could result in something bigger and much more dangerous.”

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