The flames of a burning slash pile spread into a grass fire this afternoon burning about one acre before being extinguished by our volunteers. The spread could have been prevented by following the Outdoor Burning Rules from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

If you’re going to burn, there are steps that you can take to minimize the chance of the fire spreading. Here are a few of the highlights, however, always read and follow the guidelines in the Outdoor Burning Rules pamphlet mentioned above.

  • Call 800.323.BURN before you burn or visit http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger to find the fire danger in our county. Call each day prior to lighting ANY fire for instructions specific to that day and location.
  • Burn no more than one pile at any time and completely extinguish the pile before lighting another.
  • Create a fire break around the pile by constructing a barrier to bare mineral soil with no flammable material.
  • Keep a shovel and connected water hose or at least 5 gallons of water nearby. Always have enough water nearby to put a fire out if it spreads.
  • A person capable of extinguishing the fire must be in attendance at all times while burning.Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Burn only in calm or light winds. Don’t burn when the wind is swaying trees, extending flags or causing rough waves on the water.

Remember that your neighbors are the ones who will be there to help you if your fire gets out of control, so preplan and burn responsibly to prevent unwanted wildfires.