DNR encourages fire safety as much of Central, Eastern WA under Red Flag Warning

With portions of Eastern Washington under a Red Flag Warning and other areas being added through Wednesday, the Department of Natural Resources wants everyone to do what they can to minimize the risk of fires starting.

“Outdoor burning is currently prohibited and camp fires are only allowed at designated campgrounds,” said Guy Gifford, a spokesman for the DNR. “Check the area you are going to for restrictions, even using vehicles in the grasslands or woods can cause fires.”

He notes that homeowners should focus on their defensible space, with the area 5 feet around their house cleared to the point that dropping a match wouldn’t start a fire. From there, brush should be cleared out and trees thinned out. Many folks might think that it’s the worst of the flames that destroy houses, but Gifford says it’s actually the embers thrown from it that cause the biggest problems for structures.

More information can be found by clicking here and going to the National Fire Protecion website.

He says that if you would like your property inspected the DNR will come out and do that for you, and advise you further on how to protect your property.

Another reminder is that, as we head toward the holiday, know when and where if at all fireworks are allowed.

“As we hit the Fourth of July, be aware of firework restrictions,” he said. “Spokane County has fireworks prohibited and anywhere in the woods fireworks are prohibited no matter the county.”

With technological advances, Gifford says some folks like to try and fly their drones over fires, but that it can put others at risk and to not do it.

“Do not use drones to cover fires. If there is a drone in the area, you will get cited by the FAA and the second we have to take our air resources down,” he said, “our helicopters, our fire bosses, will no longer be able to support us on the fire until we know a drone is not there.”

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