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Kitsap County imposes burn ban

Due to dry conditions, Kitsap County fire authorities are imposing a burn ban beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, June 28, and lasting until further notice.

“From all indications, this year will be worse than last year,” said Capt. Greg Borgen of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.

Under an outdoor burn ban, all burning permits are temporarily suspended and no burning is allowed. Excepted are propane and briquette barbecue appliances and recreational fires located in designated campgrounds.

Open fires on private property are not allowed, even if they conform to safety standards similar to those in the campground.

Central Kitsap Fire Department Public Safety Supervisor Bill Minks said any violators will be issued a warning for a first offense, after which they will be billed for any expenses incurred to extinguish the fire.

This ranges from $100 or so for a small fire to several thousand dollars when major resources are used.

By law, an outdoor burn ban does not cover fireworks, cigarettes or motorcycles in the woods that can cause sparks.

Nevertheless, Minks said everyone should exercise extreme caution with all fires during these dry conditions.

As conditions are re-evaluated on a weekly basis, the ban could be lifted if moisture significantly increases. Minks said that people should not assume that the ban is over after a rain, as it takes several days for the water to find its way to become absorbed in areas below the surface.

The biggest obstacle toward maintaining a burn ban is informing the public, according to public information officer Lindy Ingram.

“Every year there are people who burn illegally,” she said. “Whether they don’t know about the ban or are just ignoring it is impossible to say.”

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