Fire danger high

Firefighters from the Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department hose down a wildfire in the dunes south of the Sid Snyder Drive beach approach in 2004. With the area drying up, there is a burn ban in effect for the entire county starting June 21.

Pacific County is implementing a burn ban effective 8 a.m. Friday, June 21.

Pacific County fire districts and fire departments, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and other Southwest Washington counties, will put restrictions on all outdoor burning until conditions moderate in the fall. All residential burning associated is prohibited until further notice.

The entire county is classified as being in a drought, which is severe everywhere except for right along the Columbia River. Wildfire danger is likely to persist until rain returns in fall.

Recreational campfires are allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as those typically found in parks and in commercial campgrounds. On private land, campfires are permitted with the landowner’s permission, if built in the following approved manner:

• The campfire shall be no greater than 3 feet in diameter and constructed of a ring of metal, stone or brick 8 inches above ground surface, with a 2-foot-wide area cleared down to exposed soil surrounding the outside of the pit.

• The campfire shall have an area at least 10 feet around it cleared of all flammable material and at least 20 feet of clearance from overhead flammable materials or fuels.

• The campfire must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16 years old with the ability to extinguish the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged water hose.

Completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative.

Contact the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for updates on burn restrictions at 800-323-BURN or www2.wadnr.gov/burn-risk. Contact the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency at 800-422-5623 or visit www.orcaa.org.

You can also contact the local office in Long Beach at 360-642-9382 or South Bend at 360-875-9356.

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