to the current drought conditions Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue has implemented the
following restrictions on outdoor burning. Effective immediately, the fire
district will cease to issue any new back yard or commercial permits for
burning. In addition, fire officials request that existing permit
holders curtail backyard burning until the annual burn ban is lifted in the
fall, after rains have reduced the fire hazard. This is a voluntary restriction
until the countywide burn ban takes effect on July 1. "We have twelve days
until the annual burn ban takes effect. We are asking for the support of the
community starting now and continuing throughout fire season, to help us help
you" said Fire Chief Sam Phillips.
2 Fire-Rescue has already responded to three brush fires in less than one
month, each of these fires were human caused. One was a controlled burn that
escaped the property owner and caused tremendous concern when it threatened
structures. "We surveyed our Board of Fire Commissioners and it was unanimous
that we should be proactive rather than reactive. This is the right course of
action to take given our current environmental circumstances", Phillips added.
a normal year there is enough rain to keep fire season from starting until
after the 4th of July. Currently our region is two months ahead of
that normal curve which has caused our fuels to dry out much sooner, according
to the fire district. In making this decision the fire district was guided by
information made available from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center
in Portland, Oregon. NWCC provides long range fire weather forecasts to the
fire services throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their predictive services
section http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/predict/weather.aspx expects the warmer, drier weather to
continue for the next one to two months which will further exacerbate the
threat for wildfires to spread quickly.
pack is at historically low levels which will effect water flow level in local
rivers as well as ground water tables. On the Olympic Peninsula where there
would normally be 80 inches of snow, flowers such as glacier lilies have been
in bloom for two weeks.
On May 15, 2015, Governor Jay Inslee
declared a statewide drought emergency. The declaration came after the
governor's Emergency Water Executive Committee determined that 48 of 62
watersheds in Washington have water supplies of 75 percent of normal or below
and water users are experiencing hardships from water shortages or are expected
to experience hardships. Washington has been in a snowpack drought since the
governor's first drought declaration on March 13 for the Yakima and Walla Walla
basins and the Dungeness basin on the Olympic Peninsula.
Snowpack is like a frozen reservoir
for river basins, in a typical year accumulating over the winter and slowly
melting through the spring and summer providing a water supply for rivers and
streams. This year run-off from snowmelt for the period April through
September is projected to be the lowest on record in the past 64 years.
to the U.S. Drought Monitor, http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ Clallam County is in a moderate
drought status (see figure 1 attached) and when combined with the possibility
of an El Nino weather event, the possibility of a long sustained fire season is
probable. According to the NWCCs predictive services, "There is an approximately 90% chance that El Nino will continue through Northern Hemisphere summer
2015, and a greater than 80% chance it will last through 2015."
Urban Growth Areas of Clallam County
Burning is prohibited in the urban growth areas of Clallam County. This is regulated by the State of Washington, not local agencies. We often receive questions on where burning is prohibited. The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) has developed a map that shows where burning is prohibited.
Permits in this category are issued to commercial users that are clearing large areas of land and burning, or to citizens that have yard waste larger than a single 4 foot X 4 foot X 3 pile foot allowed under the no-fee residential permit.
These permits are issued on a case-by-case basis and require a site visit. The cost is $100.00 payable to Clallam County Fire District No. 2. Please call 360-417-4790 or email email@example.com to arrange a site visit to issue this type of permit.