Campfires are central to the Scouting experience. Scouting units need to “Be Prepared” and aware of rapidly changing fire regulations. Washington and the entire west are experiencing significant to extreme drought conditions.
This summer has the potential for large and significant wildfires in our state. Even in June there have been large wildfires in our state.
State Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz issued a state-wide burn ban effective July 2, 2021. Here is the ban:
” Outdoor burning, the use of charcoal briquettes, and prescribed burns are banned on all forest lands within the State of Washington under Department of Natural Resources fire protection through September 30, 2021. This date may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.”
When planning outings or camping:
1. Check with the land owner or agency about fire restrictions. 2. Double check the day you depart. Burn bans can go into effect overnight. The County Fire Marshal for the location you are going is a great first contact. 3. Federal and State agencies may have different fire ban rules. 4. If open fires are allowed, follow the BSA Unit Fireguard Plan, and Chemical Fuels and Equipment Policy 5. Additional BSA fire safety resources: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/incident-report/incident-reviews/campfires/
Be aware that if you allow a campfire to spread, you and your unit can be found legally liable for the damages, and also, responsible for all costs related to fire suppression which can run into millions of dollars. It has happened to other Scout units.
Let’s all do our part to keep the Evergreen State, ever green