News Briefs for June 20, 2019

Rotary to dedicate 'Peace Pole,' New fireworks rules in Camas-Washougal, burn ban in effect

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Camas-Washougal Rotary to dedicate ‘peace pole’

The Rotary Club of Camas-Washougal will have a formal dedication of a new “peace pole,” the club’s gift to the community that stands near the new natural playground area at the Washougal Riverfront Park, at 3 p.m., Thursday, June 20.

The public is invited to witness the dedication and learn about the peace pole, which is part of Rotary International and the Peace Pole Project. Although other Rotary clubs have donated similar poles, this is the first of its kind in Camas-Washougal. The pole and signage were donated by Carol Keljo, past president of the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club. Every peace pole contains the words, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” The Rotary Club’s pole has the words in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Japanese, French, Italian and Korean. The pole is intended to inspire community members and help celebrate and spread the seeds of peace.

New fireworks rules in Camas, Washougal

Consumer fireworks may only be discharged on July 4 in Camas and Washougal this holiday season.

Additionally, an ordinance passed by the Washougal City Council in November 2017 changed the types of fireworks allowed within their city limits to only those that fall under the definition of “safe and sane” — those that are neither projectile nor explosive. Any fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than 1 foot into the air, such as mortars and roman candles, or more than 6 feet on the ground do not fit the definition of “safe and sane” and are now illegal for sales or use within the city limits of Washougal.

Local law enforcement agencies will be on patrol to enforce these new fireworks regulations.

Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal Ron Schumacher cautions that “using illegal fireworks or discharging fireworks outside of legally permitted dates and times may result in a fine and the possible confiscation of your fireworks.”

The penalties start at $250 for the first offense and increase to $500 fine for a second offense, $750 fine for a third offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense within a three-year period.

Fireworks stands in both Camas and Washougal will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m,, July 2-4. In Camas, they also will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., July 5.

Camas residents can find a complete list of legal consumer fireworks at

Washougal residents can find a complete list of “safe and sane” at cityofwash -fireworks-limitations-safety-tips.

With the dry weather conditions the fire marshal encourages Camas-Washougal residents to handle fireworks responsibly and be courteous to neighbors.

“Safety should be the top priority,” Schumacher said. “We want everyone in our cities to have a happy and safe celebration.”

Clark County implements outdoor burn ban

All land clearing and residential burning in Clark County is restricted due to increased fire danger.

Clark County Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway is canceling all burning permits issued in Clark County for this year. Permits can be reissued or extended when the ban is lifted. The burning restrictions do not apply to federally managed lands.

Clark County typically bans outdoor burning from July 15 through Sept. 30 each year. However, a ban can begin sooner or end later depending on conditions.

This year’s ban began July 17.

“Clark and the surrounding counties have been in regular communication with the Washington state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Forest Service over the past several weeks regarding the weather patterns and wildfire fuel conditions. Due to the low moisture content in the wildfire fuels coupled with the extended forecast calling for normal to above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation, we are in agreement that the ban should be implemented earlier this year,” Dunaway said.

At the same time, the Pacific Cascade Region of DNR has changed the wildfire danger rating to “moderate” in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties, which prohibits all debris burning on DNR-protected lands. Permits that have been issued are suspended until the fire danger subsides in the fall. In effect, all debris burning is prohibited on DNR-protected lands and fire district protected lands in these three counties until further notice.

A defensible space around homes is important to prevent a grass or brush fire from reaching the house. Dunaway recommends these actions in both rural and urban areas:

Remove fuel within 3 to 5 feet of foundations, outbuildings, garages and sheds; within 10 feet of a house; under decks and porches; and from gutters, eaves, porches and decks.

Cut the lawn if it is brown. Dispose of debris and cuttings.

Prune trees so lowest branches are 6 feet to 10 feet above the ground.

Landscape with native and flame-resistant plants.

For more tips, visit

Recreational campfires are still allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as commercial campgrounds and local, county and state parks.

For more information, visit ment/fire/burning.html.