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Burn ban starts Friday in Whatcom County

Fire officials have banned open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting Friday morning. Open burning is banned in all Whatcom County cities.
Fire officials have banned open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting Friday morning. Open burning is banned in all Whatcom County cities. The Dallas Morning News

Continued warm, sunny weather has prompted fire officials to ban open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 8 a.m. Friday.

Recreational fires that meet certain restrictions will be allowed in designated campgrounds and on improved property with the landowner’s permission. But all land clearing and yard debris fires must be discontinued, said Mitch Nolze, Whatcom County fire inspector.

Wednesday also was the last day for legal discharge of fireworks, Nolze said in a statement.

Sandy Point fire district, which issues its own burn limits, began enforcing a ban on open burning Wednesday. Open burning is banned in all Whatcom County cities.

A burn ban also will take effect Friday morning for Lummi Island.

National Weather Service meteorologists see nothing but sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s and 80s for next week. Climate models show a strong possibility of above-normal temperatures and below-normal rain for the next three to four weeks and possibly longer.

No measurable rain has fallen in Whatcom County since June 18, but fuel moisture remained high because temperatures had been mostly seasonal – mid-60s to low 70s.

But a wildfire Sunday on Sumas Mountain, one of the first outdoor burns that required fire suppression efforts this season, began to steer local fire officials toward considering a ban.

Since Monday, firefighters across the county have been dispatched to control several outdoor fires – many of them linked to fireworks.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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