Burn restrictions in place due to high fire danger
Last updated 7/1/2021 at 5:37pm
RITZVILLE — Adams County Fire Protection District No. 1 Board of County Commissioners enacted Fire Danger Burn Restrictions during a special meeting Tuesday, June 29.
Resolution 2021-1 restricts unauthorized open burning, unauthorized recreational fires and the burning of all combustible materials which may include, but are not limited to, outdoor burning of yard vegetation or waste, non-emergent agriculture burning, exploding gun targets, bullet tracer rounds, fire pits, any open flame; and fireworks. The restrictions are in place until the order is lifted or otherwise permitted by law enforcement or the Commissioners of Adams County Fire Protection District No. 1.
Commissioners David McCormick, Greg Galbreath, Matt Kubik signed the resolution, along with Fire Chief Scott Kembel; stating the restrictions were necessary due to the short-range weather forecast, along with the low amount of rainfall this spring.
"Anyone who was at the scene of the fire in Lind last weekend would say they didn't want to see any kind of open burning in Adams County until we received a bucket of rainfall," Commissioner McCormick said, referring to a fire that burned 2200 acres before multiple agencies including state mobilization crews had it under control.
In most cases, agencies and/or municipalities do not have the authority to ban fireworks under an emergency basis. Under state law, a fireworks ban requires a one-year waiting period before it can be enacted. According to Revised Code of Washington 70.77.250, any ordinances adopted by a county or city that are more restrictive than state law shall have an effective date no sooner than one year after their adoption.
Adams County Commissioners, who passed a resolution last week asking residents not to set off fireworks this year due to drought and high temperatures, adopted an ordinance in 2017 giving them the ability to ban fireworks if approved by the Adams County Emergency Management Director. That position, however, is now vacant with former director Jay Weiss now serving as an Adams County Commissioner.