The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is extending its burn ban to cover the entire state, the agency wrote in a release Tuesday.
Until now, DNR has implemented restrictions regionally. But, after responding to 21 new fires on Labor Day, the agency expanded the ban to prohibit burning on all forest areas under its jurisdiction — including state parks.
Smoke from several regional fires continued to hover over Thurston County on Tuesday.
“Wildfire and smoke is affecting every community around the state as we see the hot, dry summer take its toll on our forests,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said in the release. “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.”
Restrictions on federally owned lands — such as national forests, parks and wildlife refuges — are made by federal agencies, the release said.
Thurston County extended its annual burn ban last week to run through the end of September. The ban originally included exceptions for fires in approved concrete, stone and metal pits found at campgrounds, as well as charcoal briquettes, and gas and propane barbecues.