SOUTHEASTERN WASHINGTON – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation officials want to remind the public that the recently extended state-mandated burn ban will be observed at Corps-operated recreation areas in the Walla Walla District.
In an effort to reduce preventable wildfires, Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources issued a statewide burn ban covering all DNR-protected lands, effective July 1, through Sept. 30. WA-DNR extended the burn ban through Oct. 15 www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/News/Pages/2012_10_04_dry_conditions_nr.aspx.
Although district-operated recreation areas along the Snake and Columbia rivers have experienced cooler weather and shorter days, there is still a high danger of wildfire due to unusually dry weather throughout southeastern Washington.
District staff advise hunters and outdoor recreationists to use extreme caution during the burn ban. No wood fires are allowed during the ban. Charcoal grills and gas-fueled stoves are only allowed in designated areas over a non-flammable surface, well away from flammable vegetation. Check the information kiosks at recreation areas for additional fire restriction and safety notices. Charcoal briquettes should be allowed to completely cool before disposal – never dump hot coals onto the ground they can ignite nearby vegetation.
With state hunting seasons fast approaching, Corps park rangers in the Walla Walla District would also like to advise hunters and other visitors to follow a few safety tips and rules to make their recreation experience a safe and happy one:
· Wear safety-orange, or other brightly colored clothing while visiting in outdoor areas where hunting is allowed
· Hunting on Corps property is allowed in designated areas only – state boating, hunting and fishing regulations apply to visitors at Corps sites
· Wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life preserver when boating
· Boaters must ensure personal floatation devices are on board for each person – children 12 and younger are required to wear personal floatation devices when in a boat
· Don’t consume alcohol when operating recreational vessels
· Stay warm and dry – colder temperatures increase the risk of hypothermia when exposed to cold weather, or when swimming in cold water
For more information about Corps of Engineers recreation opportunities in the Walla Walla District, check out our website www.nww.usace.army.mil/corpsoutdoors.