(By Staff Reports/Chewelah Independent)
Stevens County has banned all open burning in unincorporated areas effective Aug. 8. Violation of this burn ban will result in investigation and prosecution by authorities. Any person who is conducting open burning and fails to take immediate action to extinguish or stop such burning when ordered will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
This burn ban is not intended to ban the use of backyard barbecues for the purpose of food preparation. A water source must be readily available within 25 feet of the barbeque. A violation of this order is a misdemeanor and can be punishable with a fine of up to $500 or up to 90 days in jail.
DNR increases fire danger and industrial fire precaution levels
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Sunday that the following changes in fire danger rating and industrial fire precaution levels (IFPL) on DNR-protected lands.
• Fire danger will increase from high to very high in Pend Oreille County.
• Fire danger remains very high in Lincoln, Spokane, Okanogan, Stevens and Ferry counties.
• IFPL will increase to a Level 3 in zones 678W, 684, 685, 686 and 687.
• IFPL will remain a Level 2 in zone 678E and 688.
Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ and IFPL map at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ifpl.
Level 2 or “hoot owl” on the IFPL system requires those working on DNR lands to limit activity from between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. while fire equipment and a fire watch are required.
Level 3 or “partial shutdown” prohibits some activities and limits others to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.; fire equipment and a fire watch are required.
Level 4 prohibits all activities.
Noisy Creek Fire Burns near Metaline Falls
The Noisy Creek Fire located on Hall Mountain has grown to 3,120 acres after a lightning strike ignited it on July 15.
The fire is 27 percent contained and is located east of Sullivan Lake near Metaline Falls.
Level 2 evacuation notifications have been given for the East Sullivan Lake Campgrounds near the Hall Creek outlet. Other areas around Sullivan Lake are under a Level 1 evacuation order.
There are 212 personnel on the fire including two hotshot crews, one attack crew, two helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft along with three dozers, 11 engines, three water tenders, three masticators and one ambulance.