Lewis County enacts burn ban on all unincorporated county land


Residents of unincorporated Lewis County are prohibited from outdoor burning as part of a ban that began at midnight Wednesday as much of Western Washington sweltered in unseasonably warm weather.

In an announcement Tuesday, Lewis County Fire Marshal Doyle Sanford said the ban would take effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 10. Fires are banned on all county-regulated land and private land except for recreational campfires in designated areas.

The ban will be in effect until “conditions improve.”

“After careful review of the current and extended weather forecast, the Lewis County Commissioners, Community Development Director and Fire Marshal have determined that current weather conditions within Lewis County have created substantial fire dangers,” the announcement reads.

The ban will apply to applicants with current burn permits.

According to Sanford, recreational campfires must meet the following requirements:

• The campfire can be no greater than 3 feet in diameter and must have a ring constructed of metal, stone or brick, 8 inches above the surface with a 2-foot-wide area cleared down to exposed soil surrounding the outside of the pit.

• The campfire must have an area of 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 who can 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. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative.

Beginning Tuesday, the Chehalis Tribal Department of Natural Resources enacted an indefinite ban on burning yard waste, land clearing or lighting fireworks within the Chehalis Reservation. Under the partial burn ban, propane grills, charcoal briquettes and recreational campfires are still allowed in improved barbecues and fire pits. Campfires must be attended to by someone who is at least 16 years old who can extinguish the flame.

Meanwhile, the Department of Natural Resources announced its own burn ban on Wednesday afternoon. 

After peaking on Tuesday, temperatures will hover in the low to mid-80s for the next week. A heat advisory for Lewis County remained in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information, contact Sanford at 360-740-2696. The fire marshal’s office is in the Lewis County Public Services building, located at 2025 NE Kresky Ave., Chehalis.