State of Emergency exists in all of Washington

Note:  There are a lot of “Whereases.”  You can skip down to the bolded text.  


WHEREAS, June 2015 has been significantly drier than normal with above average temperatures; and current and projected weather conditions through September 2015, in conjunction with existing and projected fire fuel conditions, present a continuing high risk of severe wildfires throughout the state of Washington; and

WHEREAS, moist conditions in May spurred significant vegetation growth, and abnormally dry conditions followed in June, leading to the early development of high-risk fire fuel conditions throughout the State; and

WHEREAS, current National Weather Service forecasts predict record to near-record temperatures with an increased threat of localized lightning and windy conditions statewide over the next two weeks, and seasonal weather forecasting models project warmer and drier conditions than normal through September, which, when combined with the existing high-risk fire fuel conditions, support an active burning environment capable of producing multiple large wildfires requiring the need for additional immediate response in any area of the State; and

WHEREAS, the State has already experienced multiple wildfires over the first three weeks of June, requiring response by our limited State and local firefighting resources, and in the past week, new wildfires have required a responsive commitment of these limited resources in Asotin, Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties; and

WHEREAS, the threat to life and property from wildfires is significant and may cause extensive damage to homes, businesses, and public facilities, resources, infrastructure and utilities, impacting the life and health of our citizens throughout the State; this threat may affect life, health, property, or the public peace, and is a public disaster demanding immediate action; and

WHEREAS, firefighting resources throughout the State and western United States are limited and may already be committed to other wildfire preparation and response activities, due to existing and projected fire conditions throughout the region; and

WHEREAS, because available firefighting resources may not be adequate to address the outbreak of additional and simultaneous wildfires resulting from the above noted conditions, the Washington National Guard and State Guard may be needed to assist local jurisdictions and state agencies throughout Washington in responding to this public disaster; and

WHEREAS, the Washington Military Department has activated the State Emergency Operations Center, implemented response procedures, is coordinating resources to support state and local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and is continuing to assess the wildfire danger resulting from existing high-risk weather and fire fuel conditions.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above-noted situation, and under Chapters 38.08, 38.52, and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in all of Washington’s 39 counties and direct that the plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the incidents. As a result of this event, I also hereby order into active state service the organized militia of Washington State to include the National Guard and the State Guard, or such part thereof as may be necessary in the opinion of the Adjutant General, to perform such duties as directed by competent authority of the Washington Military Department in addressing this event. Additionally, the Washington State Emergency Operations Center is instructed to coordinate all incident-related assistance to the affected areas.

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington this 26th day of June, A.D, Two Thousand  and Fifteen  at Olympia, Washington.


/s/                                               Jay Inslee, Governor



/s/                                   Secretary of State

DNR announces burn ban east of the Cascades

June 16, 2015

DNR announces burn ban east of the Cascades

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced there will be a burn ban starting June 17 on DNR-protected lands east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains.

dnr_centcolor_09The eastern Washington burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forestlands under DNR fire protection.  It does not include federally owned lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies.

“With years of persistent drought on the eastern Washington landscape, and predictions by the National Weather Service for a hotter and drier summer than normal, it’s prudent to take precautions now,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “This burn ban will help protect people, forests and property.”

Beginning June 17 and running through September 30, 2015, the burn ban is currently limited to eastern Washington. It may eventually be extended to western Washington as conditions warrant.

In 2015 so far, there have been 241 wildfire starts throughout the state.  Last year’s fire season was the biggest on record in Washington, with the largest state fire ever, the Carlton Complex, destroying more than 250,000 acres. More than 1 million acres of Washington’s landscape has been consumed by wildfire since 2009.

DNR is awaiting legislative action this summer on requests for $4.5 million for additional firefighting teams and equipment, and $20 million to improve the health of drought-ravaged, flammable forests.

The June 17 burn ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR-protected forestlands east of the Cascades with the exception of recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal and other campgrounds.

Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands. Charcoal briquettes are also not allowed.

County wide burn ban effective June 1, 2015

County wide burn ban effective June 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.

Kl Co Burn Ban Res 07715 adopted 052615  (download PDF file 123 KB)

The following is from the original PDF converted to MS Word, and some of the text may have been converted inaccurately.  Please refer to the original PDF for the exact resolution.


Klickitat County, Washington






WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, meeting in regular session, and having before it the need to establish outdoor burning restrictions within  the unincorporated areas of Klickitat County; and

WHEREAS, Klickitat County Code Chapter 8.24 (Ordinance  #041 194)  adopted April 11, 1994, provides a procedure for regulating outdoor burning (“outdoor burning” means combustion of any type in an open fire or open container) within  the unincorporated areas of Klickitat County which allows flexibility and coordination between the various fire authorities; and

WHEREAS, the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners  (“Board”)  is the primary fire control authority in those areas of Klickitat County outside the corporate limits of any city or town; the boundaries of any fire district, the jurisdiction of the Yakama Indian Nation; and the jurisdiction  of the Washington  State Parks and Recreation Commission; and

WHEREAS, the Board may, by resolution, restrict outdoor burning in the areas of its primary authority in any manner the Board, in its sound discretion, determines reasonable; and

WHEREAS, the Board is the secondary fire control authority in all areas of Klickitat County outside the corporate limits of any city or town where the Board is not the primary authority. In any secondary authority area where the Board finds that the publ ic safety  is threatened by unrestricted outdoor burning and the primary authority in that area has not restricted burning or where the primary  authority has requested that the Board act, the Board may restrict outdoor burning in any manner the Board, in its sound discretion, determines reasonable; and

WHEREAS, due to the potential for extreme drought conditions,  fire hazards, increased fuel loads and the potential for lack of sufficient precipitation the  various  fire districts through the Klickitat County Interagency Fire Association have requested that  an outdoor burn ban be adopted within the unincorporated areas of Klickitat County to be in effect from June 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the  Board  of  County Commissioners of Klickitat County hereby places into effect a ban on outdoor burning outside the corporate  limits of any city or town; the jurisdiction of the Yakama Indian Nation; and the jurisdiction of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and prohibiting the issuance of burning permits except  for authorized  agricultural  burning.  Attended  camp fires will be allowed in the Mt. Adams Guler County Park in Trout Lake, Washington within the designated 8 foot cleared area with steel fire rings (rock rings are not allowed), however, the County and/or the Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to ban at any time all campfires  within  the  Park  during  periods  of  extreme  fire  danger  or  during  Industrial  Fire

Resolution # (‘.) ? 7-1 S

Precaution Level. Residential barbecues will be allowed. At the discretion of the Fire Chief, Fire Protection Districts are exempt from this ban for the purposes of live fire training activities. Said burn ban shall be in full force and effect from June 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015 . The public is directed to check with the appropriate authorities concerning burning restrictions within the corporate limits of any city or town.

DATED this 26th day of May, 2015.

Presentation on Fire and Forests to Spark Community Conversation


Download pdf flyer-1.44 MB:  Fire and Forests_GD_WS_ST_FINAL flyer_2014 09

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District and the Washington Humanities invite the community to join Fire Ecology Photographer, John Marshall for an engaging conversation at area libraries about the past philosophies and future policies of forest fire management east of the Cascade Divide.  The program will include stunning images from Marshall’s extensive photograph landscape study.  The programs are scheduled on three consecutive evenings as follows:  Goldendale library on Monday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m.; White Salmon library on Tuesday, September 23 at 6:00 p.m. and Stevenson library on Wednesday, September 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Lightning strikes and Native Americans historically ignited many small fires, resulting in open forests with a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats.  As Europeans settled the area, many began to argue for the vigilant prevention of wildfires.  For half a century, the U.S. Forest Service battled all fires and invented Smokey the Bear, a character that spread the discredited notion that all fire is bad.  Now fires are larger and hotter as forests have grown into living tinderboxes.  All of Eastern Washington’s vulnerable forests will inevitably burn.  The question for us is: How do we want them to burn?

In 1994, John Marshal began an extensive photographic landscape study to follow what happens to forests following fires, an endeavor that continues today.  Marshall’s interest in forest fires began in childhood while picking huckleberries at old burn sites on Mt. Hood.  The son of a wildlife biologist, he came to understand at an early age that wildfires were important to wildlife in the same era Smokey the Bear was telling the public that fires were bad.  Marshall has a Bachelor’s in Fishery Science from Oregon State University and a Master’s in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho.  He began his career as a photographer with the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, which he photographed for National Geographic magazine.  His recent work having to do with fire ecology is supported by the U.S. Forest Service.  Marshall currently lives in Wenatchee.  For more information about this and other library programs, services and resources call the library (509) 493-1132.  For more information about Humanities Washington programs www.humanities.org/calendar- events