October 16, 2012

Fire danger rating drops in parts of northeast Washington
Restrictions are eased for industrial operations

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the fire danger rating and precaution levels for industrial forest operations will be lowered in some areas of the state.

The fire danger rating in Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Ferry, and Pend Oreille counties will drop from ‘high’ to ‘moderate’ at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

Effective at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, October 17, 2012, the shutdown of operations has ended in the following IFPL zones (map):

  • Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Spokane, and Pend Oreille (Zones 678W, 678E, 684, 685, 686, 687, and 688)

The fire danger rating in Okanogan County will remain high. Permit and rule burning is prohibited in Okanogan County, and campfires are only allowed in designated fire pits that are approved in campgrounds.

Permit burning and rule burning will be allowed in Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Ferry, and Pend Oreille counties. People are reminded to be careful when burning by following these simple steps:

  1. Put a fire break around your fire
  2. Do not leave the fire unattended
  3. Put the fire out every night
  4. If wind speeds increase, put out your fire
  5. Check before burning by calling 1-800-323-BURN or visit www.dnr.wa.gov for current burning conditions

The IFPL Hotline is updated each afternoon around 5 p.m. For the IFPL in your desired work zone, call 1-800-527-3305.

The IFPL system

  • Industrial Fire Precaution Level applies to all industrial operations that may cause a fire on or adjacent to lands protected from fire by DNR (WAC 332-24-301); this applies to logging and other industrial operations.
  • The levels are established for each of 38 “shutdown zones” in the state on the basis of National Fire Danger Rating System data.
  • There are four IFPL levels:
    Level 1(closed fire season): fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    Level 2(partial hoot owl): limits certain activities to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.; fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    Level 3(partial shutdown): prohibits some activities and limits others to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.; fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    Level 4 (general shutdown): prohibits all activities

The same system is used by DNR, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. This provides consistency for workers operating on lands regulated by the different agencies. For specific information regarding components of the IFPL system, visit DNR’s website.

DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with over 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 400 seasonal employees hired for firefighting duties. Additionally, Department of Corrections’ adult offenders and Department of Social and Health Services-Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration juvenile offenders participate in the DNR Correctional Camps Program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov  

REPOSTED 10/21/12 1641 Hours

Courtesy: DNR