VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — With the summer heat and dry conditions hitting the SW Washington area in recent weeks, the Vancouver Fire Marshal is issuing a total ban on recreational burning for the Vancouver area.
The ban will begin on Thursday, June 8.
The announcement comes after Vancouver firefighters responded to five brush fires on Monday, two of which were big enough to prompt evacuations.
Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli says the ban is based on weather conditions, as well as fuel moisture in vegetation and fire safety needs in the community.
The ban will likely remain in effect for the rest of the summer, or until fire danger conditions improve, according to officials.
“The risk for fire is high and state officials have said that this year’s wildfire season has the potential to be challenging as the fine fuels continue to cure,” said Scarpelli. “It is vital that everyone be extra vigilant about fire safety during this time. In addition to not using any recreational fires, we also ask that smokers never put out their cigarettes in bark mulch or planters or toss lit cigarettes out car windows.”
All fires will be prohibited within city limits, including recreational fires, bonfires, campfires, fires in outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimney-type devices. Cooking on propane or charcoal barbeques is still permitted, but cooking and heating fires in unmanaged areas, such as unsheltered encampments, are illegal and will be extinguished, according to officials.
Scarpelli also said those who violate the burn ban order could face a $500 fine and a fire code citation, which may include criminal penalties.