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Island fire district implements HIGH fire danger restrictions during ferry dry dock

LUMMI ISLAND, Wash. — The annual dry dock for the Whatcom Chief this year is scheduled to be April 29th through May 21st and the vehicle ferry will be replaced by a passenger-only ferry. As a result, outdoor burning will be restricted on Lummi Island beginning Saturday, April 29th.

Each year the Whatcom Chief vehicle ferry spends 2 to 3 weeks in dry dock to undergo annual maintenance and during that time is replaced by a passenger-only ferry. In recent years, this had been scheduled during the latter half of September when burn bans were typically already in place. With dry docks being scheduled in the spring beginning with last year’s, extra steps need to be taken.

Due to this temporary inability to get additional firefighting apparatus and equipment to the island in the event of a fire, Whatcom County Fire District 11, which serves Lummi Island, has announced outdoor burning restrictions typically associated with HIGH fire danger situations. These are being implemented during the entire dry dock period.

lummi island high fire danger sign
Lummi Island fire danger level sign (May 2022). Photo courtesy of Whatcom County Fire District 11

Fire Chief Michael Lish told Whatcom News large outdoor burn piles are not going to be allowed during this time and any previously issued written permits are postponed. Any outdoor burning, except for recreational campfires, will require a general permit (available at the Islander Store or online). These restrictions go into effect at 12am on Saturday.

The Whatcom County Ferry Division’s dry dock webpage has many details including deadlines for moving vehicles to the mainland, the passenger-only ferry schedule and parking and shuttle van information. 

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