DNR, Mason County issue burn bans as temps soar

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expanded its burn ban Friday to include all forest lands in Western Washington under its fire protection, the agency announced.

“Washington is experiencing high heat and very low humidity, which is creating a dangerous situation,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release. “We are asking everyone to take extra care to avoid any risk of causing fire.”

The ban prohibits all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands, which does not include federally owned lands. Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campground are allowed. Gas and propane stoves and grills are allowed. For more information on the state burn ban, click here.

A separate burn ban was issued Friday for Mason County, according to a news release from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

The county’s ban restricts all outdoor burning including residential, agricultural and land clearing fires. Recreational fires in metal or concrete fire pits must stay under three-feet in diameter. For details on the Mason County ban, click here.

Grass fire

Also on Friday, crews were dispatched to Interstate 5’s Exit 88 for a grass fire along the road near Rochester just before 5 p.m., according to a Thurston County dispatcher. Thurston County Fire District 1 responded to the scene, the dispatcher said.

Not a record-setter

Friday was a scorcher, but it didn't break a record temperature for Olympia, according to Jay Neher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The record high for July 11 was 99 degrees, set in 2007, and Olympia saw its high of 89 degrees at 4 p.m., he said.

Forecasts expect temperatures to continue to rise through the weekend, with highs approaching 100 by Tuesday.

Stay cool

Thurston County officials are encouraging anyone who needs relief to visit one of these designated cooling stations:

*Lacey Timberland Library: 500 Sixth Ave SE, Lacey

*Lacey Senior Center: 6757 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey; 360-407-3967

*Olympia Senior Center Lobby: 222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia; 360-586-6181

*Tenino Quarry Swimming Pool: 300 W Park Ave, Tenino

*Tenino Fire District 12: 187 S Hodgden St SE, Tenino