While some may be tempted to prematurely ignite fireworks or have friends over for a bonfire leading up to Independence Day, a reminder that it is not only already illegal but imperative to suspend any and all burning of any sort while the Valley braces for a pretty brutal heatwave the next couple of weeks.

In a release to the press earlier today, Yakima County Fire Marshal Chris Pedersen and Deputy Marshall Todd Hottell announced that "Due to extremely high temperatures, dry conditions, and lack of available water resources, this ban is necessary to help protect citizens, property, and the environment from the devastation of uncontrolled fire. The ban may be extended if the County continues to experience extremely high temperatures."

The ban, which goes into effect on Friday (June 25) and will be in place through Monday (July 12), is pretty all-encompassing and includes open burning in unincorporated Yakima County. It means that all outdoor burning, including bonfires and recreational fires are also going to be prohibited for the foreseeable future.

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I know, it sucks. Sitting around the fire with friends, listening to some tunes, tilting back a cold beverage are the best during a Yakima Valley summer evening, but...

Anyone that has lived in Central Washington, or the state in general, for even just a few years knows that wildfires have engulfed the state and region in a number of recent summers to the point that many of our favorite activities this time of year have had to be cancelled. Haven't we all had enough of that in the last year?!?! I sure think so.

Furthermore, anybody burning out of doors that violates the ban could be fined up to $1,000 and arrested and, possibly, thrown in jail.

In short, be patient while it gets hot by being cool.

Burn Ban in effect to prevent wildfires

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