For what's believed to be the first time in more than twenty years, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is acting to shut down all industrial forest activities across almost all of eastern Washington's forested areas.
The move to a Level 4 Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) is based on extreme fire danger across the eastern half of the state. DNR sets IFPLs to manage wildfire risk from industrial forest activities such as timber harvest operations and road construction. Level 4, the highest state level, prohibits all such activities.
As of today, an IFPL Level 4 went into effect in IFPL zones 609W and 609E in Klickitat County.
As of midnight on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, the IFPL will increase to Level 4 in IFPL zones 678W, 678E, 684, 685, 686, 687, and 688 in parts of Pend Oreille, Ferry, Okanogan, Spokane, and Stevens counties.
At midnight on Friday, Aug. 21 2015, a Level 4 IFPL will likewise take effect in IFPL zones 675, and 680 (except Yakama Nation lands within zone 680, which will remain at IFPL 3). These zones span parts of Chelan, Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton counties.
Daily updates to statewide industrial burn restrictions are available on the Fire Danger and Outdoor Burning risk map at www.dnr.wa.gov/ifpl or from 1-800-323-BURN. Those with internet access are encouraged use the online map when needed to clear phone lines for wildfire information.
The IFPL system IFPLs apply to all industrial operations that might 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:
Level 1 (closed fire season): fire equipment and a fire watch are required
Level 2 (partial hoot owl): limits certain activities to between 8 pm. and 1 pm.; fire equipment and a fire watch are required
Level 3 (partial shutdown): prohibits some activities and limits others to between 8 pm. and 1 pm.; fire equipment and a fire watch are required
Level 4 (general shutdown): prohibits all activities