Skamania County's board of commissioners on Monday declared a halt to outdoor burning on private lands in the county, starting at midnight on Thursday, July 18.
In its authorizing resolution, the three-member board found that "...public safety could be jeopardized if outdoor burning on private lands were allowed to continue during this dry season..."
The countywide emergency closure runs through Sept. 30 unless terminated sooner or extended by action of the board.
It prohibits all forms of outdoor burning, on non-state and non-federal lands in the county, without a special written permit issued by the board of commissioners or county fire marshal. The ban includes the burning of materials in burn barrels and brush/debris piles.
"...fires within habited premises or designated campsites where such fires are built in a permanent barbecue, portable barbecue, outdoor fireplace, incinerator or grill that are a minimum of 30 feet from a grass, grain, brush or forest covered areas, and campfires in established campgrounds approved by a local, state, or federal agency that are not otherwise closed by that agency are exempt from these restrictions...," the resolution further states.