Industrial operations are limited in Eastern Washington for people working in forested areas
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Industrial operations are limited in Eastern Washington for people working in forested areas 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
July 17, 2013
                                                                                                                                        
Industrial operations are limited in Eastern Washington for people working in forested areas
Restrictions affect Klickitat, Yakima, Kittitas and Chelan counties

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that, in response to increased fire danger, the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) levels for logging and industrial operations in forested areas will be raised to avoid accidental fires.

Effective July 18, at 12:01 a.m., the IFPL level will be changed to a Level 2, called Partial Hootowl, limiting most forest industrial activities to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. only (map):
• Klickitat, Yakima, Kittitas, and Chelan counties (Zone 675, 609E, 609W).

In a Level 2, cable yarding, blasting, welding, and using chainsaws in the woods can only be done between 8:00 pm and 1:00 pm. Those operations must cease in the heat of the day from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Chainsaws may continue to be used at loading sites. All operations in forested areas must have required fire tools on site, and someone must watch the working area for an hour after the equipment shuts down to ensure no fire has started.

Even people cutting firewood must follow these standard fire precautions during IFPL 2:

  • Chainsaws must have approved, working exhaust systems.
  • A one-hour fire watch must follow the last use of a chainsaw.
  • A fire extinguisher, containing at least eight ounces of retardant, must be in the immediate vicinity of where the chainsaw is being used.
  • A shovel must be retrievable in two minutes or less.

The IFPL system

  • Industrial Fire Precaution Level applies to all industrial operations that may cause a fire on or adjacent to lands protected from fire by DNR (WAC 332-24-301); this applies to logging and other industrial operations.
  • The levels are established for each of 38 “shutdown zones” in the state on the basis of National Fire Danger Rating System data.
  • There are four IFPL levels:
    o Level 1 (closed fire season):  fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    o Level 2 (partial hoot owl):  limits certain activities to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.; fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    o Level 3 (partial shutdown):  prohibits some activities and limits others to between 8 p.m. and 1 p.m.; fire equipment and a fire watch is required
    o Level 4 (general shutdown):  prohibits all activities

The same system is used by DNR, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. This provides consistency for workers operating on lands regulated by the different agencies. For specific information regarding components of the IFPL system, please visit DNR’s website.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov; then click on ‘fire information and prevention’ and go to ‘wildfire related maps.’ The ‘burn risk map’ link is in the bottom, right-hand corner.

DNR statewide burn ban
In an effort to reduce preventable wildfires, DNR issued a statewide burn ban covering all DNR-protected lands, effective July 1, 2013, through September 30, 2013. The ban includes all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands. During the ban, designated campgrounds may allow campfires in approved fire pits. DNR or the campground management may put additional restrictions in place, including a ban on campfires, depending on weather conditions.

Media Contacts: Janet Pearce, Communications Manager, 360-902-1122, janet.pearce@dnr.wa.gov  

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360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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