Washington state, several counties issue burn bans

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Officials have banned all outdoor burning in Washington state on Department of Natural Resources land because of multiple wildfires and smoke.

The ban announced Tuesday prohibits outdoor burning on state forests, state parks and forestlands under DNR fire protection.

Anyone caught violating the burn ban can face fines.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said "Wildfire and smoke is affecting every community around the state as we see the hot, dry summer take its toll on our forests. Without any relief from this weather in the foreseeable future and with our firefighters spread across the Northwest, we can no longer allow outdoor burning anywhere in Washington."

Burn restrictions on federally-owned lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas are administered by federal agencies.

Meanwhile, a Phase 2 burn ban was to be implemented across Kitsap, Mason and Pierce counties, effective Wednesday.

During a Phase 2 burn ban, all burning permits are suspended. All forms of outdoor burning -- general backyard or recreational -- is prohibited. This includes campfires, bonfires or similar recreational burning regardless of location. Charcoal briquettes in approved barbecues or similar appliances may still be used, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal said.

The Phase 2 ban is being implemented across Kitsap, Mason and Pierce counties effective tomorrow and will stay in place until further notice.

On Monday agency firefighters responded to 21 new fires.