Gov. Chris Gregoire today extended a ban on outdoor burning to cover the entire state.
Extraordinarily dry weather — with no rain forecast for at least another week — has raised the fire danger significantly, Gregoire said. “Washington state is experiencing a weather pattern like one we’ve rarely seen before,” she said in a press release.
The ban will be in effect through midnight Oct. 15.
Fire crews have been fighting several blazes in central and Eastern Washington. Another wildfire flared up Thursday in Mason County, near Shelton, and has consumed 150 acres so far.
As of Sunday, there were 21 wildfires burning in the state, more than half of them in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, according to the national incident reporting system. All told, more than 306,163 acres have burned in the state so far this season.
An outdoor burn ban was already in effect east of the Cascade crest.
The ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to: campfires and bonfires; yard-waste and trash burning; land clearing and agricultural burning; fireworks.
Camp stoves are allowed, as are home charcoal grills.
The emergency proclamation also puts Washington’s National and State Guard units on alert.