Outdoor burning rules modified, for recreational fires

Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Campfires will be allowed once again under certain conditions beginning tomorrow in unincorporated Lewis County since weather conditions have improved, according to authorities.

The city of Centralia will rescind its temporary ban on outdoor recreational fires at the same time.

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A total outdoor burn ban was enacted at the beginning of August because of wildfire danger.

“After careful review of the current and extended weather forecast, the Lewis County community development director and fire marshal, in conjunction with the Lewis County Fire Chief’s Association … will modify the burn restriction to allow recreational campfires in designated campgrounds and on private lands if built in the following manner,” Lewis County Community Development Director Lee Napier stated in a press release today.

Here’s what’s required of your campfire and you:

• Shall be no greater than three feet in diameter and have a ring constructed of metal, stone, or brick which is eight inches above the surface with a two-foot wide area surrounding the outside of the pit cleared down to the soil.

• Shall have an area of at least 10 feet around it cleared of all flammable materials, with at least 20 feet of clearance overhead from flammable materials or fuels.

• 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 five-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged garden hose.

• When finished, someone must completely extinguish campfire by pouring water or moist soil into it and stir with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.

• The use of self-contained camp stoves are encouraged as an alternative.

The Lewis County fire marshal and fire chiefs strongly urge all county residents and visitors to be attentive to the conditions of their properties through proactive fire prevention measures.

The changes are effective at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Friday.

Chehalis Fire Department Chief Ken Cardinale sent out a press release today also with the title “City of Chehalis Burn Restrictions Modified – To Allow Recreational Fires” which states that beginning at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, recreational fires using approved barbecues will be allowed at all city parks, including using charcoal briquettes.

For further information about what is and is not allowed in Chehalis, call the fire department at 360-748-3394.

For questions in the city of Centralia, call Riverside Fire Authority at 360-736-3975.

For information regarding unincorporated Lewis County, contact Lewis County Fire Marshal Doyle Sanford at 360-740-2696. The 24-hour automated information line can be accessed by calling  360-740-1133.

Lewis County’s Community Development Director Napier also noted today that the ban on open burning in unincorporated Lewis County will be modified again beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 16.

Outdoor burning of garbage, paper and other refuse is always prohibited.

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