UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: The parks included in the ban are the private and public campgrounds that are under Washington DNR fire protection, said Janet Pearce, Communications manager for DNR. Campgrounds on federal land are not included in the ban at this time.
Pearce suggests calling ahead to check on whether the campground where you are headed will be allowing campfires.
The ban includes fires made with briquets, but propane flames are allowed, Pearce said.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Due to the extreme fire danger across nearly all of Washington from hot, dry weather, the state has expanded its ban on outdoor fires.
The state Department of Natural Resources said Monday the ban now includes campfires at campgrounds. A burn ban has been in effect but the use of approved fire pits was allowed until now.
Spokeswoman Janet Pearce says the ban now means “no flame at all” on state-protected lands. The ban will run through September.
The state also is asking people who work outdoors to curtail activity that could spark a fire, such as logging, land clearing and highway maintenance.
UPDATE, 8:15 a.m.: The National Weather Service has extended its red flag warning for wildfire danger to most of Western Washington, including the Seattle area, where such warnings are rare.
Forecasters say near-record heat Monday will be followed by thunderstorms Monday night and Tuesday with lightning that could spark more fires.
The red flag warning now covers most of Washington and Oregon. Areas of Eastern Washington not covered by the warning are under a fire weather watch.
The National Weather Service forecasts highs Monday west of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon in the mid-90s. Highs east of the Cascades could break 100.
Forecasters say the thunderstorms and clouds from showery weather should bring Northwest temperatures back to normal by midweek.
ORIGINAL POST: The National Weather Service is warning of critical wildfire conditions in Oregon and southwest Washington.
The agency issued a “red flag warning” through Tuesday after hot weather increased the risk of thunderstorms. Forecasters say there could be several rounds of thunderstorms Monday night.
Crews are already fighting dozens of fires in the Northwest. The weather service says that given dry conditions on the ground there’s a “high potential for lightning strikes to generate several new fires.”
A fire weather watch was also issued for parts of Washington state, with thunderstorms expected to develop along the crest of the Cascade Mountains and then spread north and west.