The weather might not look like summer, but fire season is upon us.
The annual burn ban goes into effect Thursday, July 1, running through Oct. 1.
Clallam County Fire District 3 Assistant Fire Chief Roger Moeder said despite the poor weather, there won't be any changes in the planned dates.
"It only takes a few days of nice weather to dry things out," Moeder said.
"Things could turn nasty real quickly."
From October to July, people can burn debris outdoors with a free permit from the fire district. Outside of those dates, outdoor burning is outlawed.
Those who violate the ban can be fined up to $10,000 and if a fire spreads and causes damages, the responsible person could pay for any damaged property and services to put out the fire.
Moeder said since the burn ban was enacted, the brush fire count has gone down significantly.
"Burn restrictions are put in place to protect you from your neighbors and to reduce the cost to the taxpayers of sending firefighters to extinguish escaped debris burns," Fire Chief Steve Vogel said.
'Tis the season for explosions
The Fourth of July is only a few days away and safety concern remains high with local and state emergency response teams.
In 2009, 1,236 fireworks incidents causing 1,036 fires were reported to Washington's state fire marshal.
There were 200 injuries reported, 66 of those were children.
Most incidents happened on the Fourth of July and about 30 percent of those were caused by unsupervised males ages 8-14.
Moeder emphasized that adults should be the only ones handling fireworks.
"Last year a garage fire started with three boys shooting roman candles at each other," he said.
"Luckily they were able to extinguish it."
Notable Washington fireworks incidents
• 89 residential fires totaling $5,333,425 in losses with 15 caused by illegal devices, nine caused by legal devices and 65 caused by an unknown type of firework
• From 2006-2009, 40 school fires totaling more than $8 million in losses were reported
• 105 fires and 91 injuries were caused by fireworks that were illegal to own or possess
Play safe and smart
Commercial fireworks went on sale June 28 and can be used at the following times:
• 9 a.m.-11 p.m. June 30-July 3, 5
• 9 a.m.-midnight July 4
Moeder warns that when buying fireworks, people should check the product's legality because fireworks bought on tribal lands are only legal in those areas.
Illegal fireworks include bottle rockets, firecrackers, mortars and M80s.
Making an improvised explosive device is a gross misdemeanor and can bring a fine up to $5,000 and/or one year in prison. If property is damaged, it could be considered a property crime, which is malicious mischief. If a firework is used to blow up something, it could be considered a destructive device, which is a felony.
Moeder said people always should read fireworks labels because they could prevent damage and injury.
The state fire marshal advises the three B's of fireworks:
• Be prepared with water nearby and put pets indoors.
• Be safe by only adults handling fireworks.
• Be responsible and clean up fireworks debris.
Burn permits are available at Fire District 3 headquarters station, 323 N. Fifth Ave., Sequim. Call 683-4242.
Outside fires reported to Clallam County
Fire District 3 Jan. 1, 2009-Dec. 1, 2009
• 37 uncontrolled natural vegetation/brush/grass fires caused by lightning, cigarettes, electrical problems, mufflers etc.
• 10 brush and grass fires from illegal burning, two from rubbish, trash or waste.
• 63 calls of burning illegal material or not having a burn permit
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