Burn Bans in Effect for Area; Police Warn, Toss a Cigarette and Face $1,052 Fine

According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, fire danger is moderate in King County.  Travel over Snoqualmie Pass to Eastern Washington, though, and the fire danger jumps drastically, with multiple wildfires burning and several red flag warnings for gusty winds and low humidity in effect.

Here at home where it’s been above 80 degrees for 10 days, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) dealt with three brush fire on or near state highways on Monday, July 14, 2014.

It’s suspected that fire shooting from a passing car’s tailpipe caused a nearly 3-acre fire along I-5 at Southcenter,needing 13 fire trucks and 40 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. A second fire then happened further south along I-5 near Fife. It was about half the size of the first fire.

On Tuesday, July 15th, traffic came to a halt as fire crews worked to put out a large brush and vehicle fire along I-90 at exit 126 near Vantage. Luckily, there were no injuries.

I-90 fire near Vantage, 7/15/14. Pic: Facebook kW3 Radio Station

I-90 fire near Vantage, 7/15/14. Pic: Facebook kW3 Radio Station

BURN BANS IN EFFECT IN/NEAR SNOQUALMIE VALLEY

As hot, dry weather continues and fire danger increases, the King County Fire Marshal issued a PHASE 1 fire safety burn ban for unincorporated areas of King County, effective July 14th, which includes many areas of the Snoqualmie Valley.

The PHASE 1 ban applies to” all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or private property with the owner’s permission.”  Gas and propane self-contained barbeques and stoves are allowed during the ban.

A statewide burn ban is also in effect until September 30th (at least) on all forest lands under Department of Natural Resource jurisdiction. All outdoor burning is banned except for recreational fires in approved fire pits and within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

Washington State Patrol troopers are also reminding drivers that if troopers witness you toss a cigarette but out of a car window, it could end with a $1,052 fine. “Don’t start a fire. Use an ashtray,” states State Trooper, Guy Gill.

 

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