Gregoire bans outdoor burning in E. Wash.

OLYMPIA — Faced with continuing wildfire danger, Gov. Chris Gregoire has ordered an immediate ban on all outdoor and agricultural burning in Eastern Washington.

The governor said Friday that more warm, dry weather is expected and the potential for additional fire activity is “incredibly high.” The ban will last through Tuesday.

The ban includes campfires, bonfires, yard clean-up and land clearing.

Any more-restrictive local rules will remain in effect. A statewide burn ban is in place through Sept. 30 on all lands protected by the state Department of Natural Resources.

On Thursday, Gregoire signed an emergency declaration for Eastern Washington, where seven large wildfire complexes have burned across several hundred square miles of parched land.

Two Washington National Guard helicopters authorized by that declaration joined the fight against wildfires near Wenatchee on Friday. They’re equipped to drop water on the flames.

Health officials continue to warn of poor air quality across the state.

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