Agencies Urge Fire Safety as Weekend Wind Event Raises Wildfire Risk Across Washington 


The Lewis County Fire Marshal has invalidated all burn permits in Lewis County as weekend forecasts for an east wind event, paired with already-critical fire weather conditions, are expected to drastically increase wildfire risk across Washington. 

All land clearing, residential and silvicultural burning remain restricted until further notice.

“The current burn ban will be in place until the conditions improve,” stated a news release from the Lewis County Fire Marshal.

By Friday, the projected east wind event will begin to develop, featuring very dry conditions and breezy winds 15-20 mph from the Okanagan Valley southward into the Columbia Basin and westward through the Columbia River Gorge and into the Puget Lowlands, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Friday afternoon and Saturday will also see gusty north-northeasterly winds of 15 to 20 mph across the Puget Sound lowlands and Willamette Valley, with the highest fire danger of the season likely for the western side of the state. Dry conditions will likely continue on Sunday, though winds will relax significantly, according to the Washington state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

“This weekend’s weather conditions hearken to the east wind event that contributed to the unpredictable fire behavior and rapid spread of the 2020 Labor Day weekend firestorm,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said in a news release. “Windy conditions amplify wildfire starts and make fighting those ignitions challenging.”

Temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s are likely for Friday and Saturday along the west slopes of the Cascades, the Columbia River Gorge, the Olympics and in the Puget Sound lowlands from King County southward, according to DNR. 

“Usually, marine influence prevents most westside fires from being able to grow rapidly by keeping fuels like grass and moss damp enough to blunt fire spread. But, the spiking temperatures and gusting easterly winds dry out those fuels, allowing for the sort of spread normally seen east of the Cascades,” DNR stated in a news release. 

These conditions could contribute to rapid growth for the significant eastside fires already burning on the landscape, according to DNR.

“It’s important to remember that we’re all in this together,” said Franz. “Practicing good prevention habits keeps our skies clear and our firefighters safe.”

More information on fire safety and prevention can be found at 

For more information on outdoor burning or the active restrictions in Lewis County, visit or contact Doyle Sanford, Lewis County Fire Marshal, at 360-740- 2696. 

In Lewis County, recreational campfires in designated campgrounds and on private lands, if built in the following manner, are allowed:

  • The campfire can be no greater than 3 feet in diameter and have a ring constructed of metal, stone or brick 8 inches above surface with a 2-foot-wide area cleared down to exposed soil surrounding the outside of the pit.
  • The campfire must have an area at least 10 feet around it cleared of all flammable material and at least 20 feet of clearance from overhead flammable materials or fuels.
  • The campfire must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16 years old with the ability to extinguish the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged garden hose.
  • Completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative.

“Please use this as a reminder that the current dry conditions create a high fire danger and with predicted winds, fires can spread rapidly,” said the Lewis County Fire Marshal in a news release.