It's hot and dry and fire officials say that's a recipe for a major wildfire that they hope doesn't happen during the 4th of July weekend. With the recent hot weather fires are not allowed anywhere in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Forest officials have banned campfires, charcoal briquettes, solid fuel fire, Tiki torches, liquid fuel candles and lanterns. What is allowed? Forest officials say propane or white gas camp stoves, propane or white gas lanterns and solid fuel candles in a metal bucket can be used in the forest but they urge you to watch for any chance of anything that could catch fire.
While it's tinder dry in the forest it's just as dry on the valley floor. The reason why the Yakima  County  Fire  Marshal  has  declared a county-wide burn ban for unincorporated Yakima County. The ban started Friday, June 25 and lasts until Monday,July 12.

All outdoor burning,  including  bonfires and recreational  fires,are prohibited.  “It is our hope that by declaring a burn ban, we will help ensure that human-caused fires will not divert the resources we need to fight wildfires," says Yakima County Fire Marshal Chris Pedersen. A press release says;

Yakima County is working with federal and state agencies and local Fire Protection Districts to help protect citizens, property, and the environment from the devastation of uncontrolled fire. Outdoor burning in violation of the local ban may be subject to a fine of $1,000, arrest, and/or jail and should be reported to the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at (509) 574-2500. The ban may be extended if the County continues to experience extremely high temperatures. Pedersen also reminds citizens that there is a ban on all fireworks in the unincorporated areas and many cities within Yakima County.

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