Washington Emergency Proclamation 21-10
STATE OF WASHIGNTON
OFFICE OF GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE
EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR
WILDFIRES – BURN BAN
WHEREAS, Washington State is experiencing an historic drought that is exacerbating fire danger across our state, and abnormally high temperatures and dry conditions have led to the early development of dangerous fire fuel conditions throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, Washington State and the Pacific Northwest experienced an unprecedented, extreme, and record-breaking hot weather event during June 25-28, 2021; and
WHEREAS, current National Weather Service forecasts predict sustained above normal temperatures throughout the state including near-record high temperatures in many areas, increased threat of lighting in some areas, and windy conditions, which, when combined with the existing high-risk fire-fuel conditions, create an increased risk of fast-spreading wildfires that would require an immediate response in any area of the state; and
WHEREAS, the threat to life and property from wildfire is significant and may cause extensive damage to homes, businesses, public facilities, natural resources, agricultural lands, infrastructure, and utilities, and may impact the life and health of the people of Washington State, which would be a public disaster that affects life, health, property, and/or the public peace; and
WHEREAS, the state of Washington has already experienced multiple wildfires, and firefighting resources throughout the state may quickly become limited due to existing and projected fire conditions and activities throughout the region, and existing firefighting resources may already be committed to fighting wildfires out-of-state; and
WHEREAS, because available firefighting resources may not be adequate to address an outbreak of simultaneous large wildfires that are made more likely by the above-noted conditions, the Washington National Guard and State Guard may be needed to assist local jurisdictions and state agencies throughout the state of Washington with a public disaster and for the public health, safety and welfare; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Military Department is monitoring and coordinating supporting actions through the State Emergency Operations Center, implementing emergency response procedures, coordinating resources to support local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and continuing to assess the wildfire danger resulting from existing high-risk weather and fire fuel conditions; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recognizing that due to the same factors described in this proclamation an unusual fire danger exists, on July 1, 2021, banned (with certain limited exceptions) outdoor burning, the use of charcoal briquettes, and prescribed burns on forest lands within the state of Washington under DNR jurisdiction through September 30, 2021; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay R. Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above-noted situation and under Chapters 38.52 and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists throughout the state of Washington, and direct the plans and procedures in the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources in accordance with the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event.
Under the provisions of RCW 43.06.220(1)(i), to preserve and maintain life, health, property or the public peace, I also hereby impose a temporary outdoor burn ban by prohibiting all outdoor and agricultural burning in all 39 Washington Counties until noon on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The ban may be ended or extended if conditions warrant. Except as provided herein, prohibited outdoor burning includes but is not limited to campfires, bonfires, residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement, and agricultural burning activity. This prohibition does not include the following activities: use of liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation; use of charcoal grills at private residences over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation; agricultural burning pursuant to a fire permit issued by a local authority in accordance with existing statutes and rules; and campfires at state, county and municipal parks and campgrounds, or small campfires contained in a structure on private property, in accordance with current and ongoing restrictions imposed by the agency or property owner with legal authority over the park, campground, or property. Nothing in this order supersedes more restrictive provisions of the counties, municipalities, fire districts, other political subdivisions, or public or private landowners. Nothing in this order supersedes fire or fireworks permits issued by a local authority that provide specific written approval for the prescribed burning activity. This order does not apply to firefighting activities by authorized firefighters acting in accordance with the firefighting plan.
As a result of this event, I also hereby order into active state service the organized militia of Washington State to include the National Guard and the State Guard, or such part thereof as may be necessary in the opinion of The Adjutant General, to perform such duties as directed by competent authority of the Washington Military Department in addressing this event. These duties shall include the use of Washington State Military Department helicopters to fly in support of wildfire suppression efforts.
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington on this 6th day of July A.D., Two Thousand and Twenty-one at Olympia, Washington.
BY THE GOVERNOR:
Secretary of State