Remember fire safety before you head out on your ORV this weekend

Alert: Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, has asked that the public be extra cautious due to extremely high wildfire potential this weekend.

Before you go out riding your dirt bike or ATV, take a minute to be sure your off-road vehicle (ORV) has a US Forest Service-approved spark arrester.

The spark arrester is a small metal screen inside your muffler and/or silencer that catches sparks before they leave your exhaust, land on the trail, and potentially start a wildfire. You can easily check your vehicle by looking with a flashlight or inserting an object into your muffler to feel for the spark arrester. If you find you don’t have a spark arrester, contact your mechanic to have one installed before your next day of riding.

With devastating wildfires across the state, including the Taylor Bridge Fire, extra fire safety precautions are crucial.  Many ORV enthusiasts do not know that their dirt bike or quad has the potential to start one of these fires, if not equipped with a  forest service approved spark arrester.

In addition to forest service approved spark arresters, please be sure to follow these tips:

–It is illegal to discharge fireworks on DNR-protected and public lands.
–Never leave a campfire unattended, and be sure it is completely out before leaving the area.
–Do not park any vehicles in dry, grassy areas as the heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.


The state requires your dirt bike or quad has a US Forest Service-approved spark arrester year-round. Image by Luis Prado/DNR

Enjoy DNR’s ORV trails, but remember to do so responsibly. Get your Discover Pass, install your spark arrester, wear personal protective gear, don’t take passengers, and always ride in designated ORV areas to avoid getting yourself or someone else hurt. Read this to be sure you don’t need a Discover Pass for your ORV adventure.

DNR law enforcement will be conducting random checks throughout the summer. If you’re caught without a spark arrester, you will be cited and have to pay a $134 fine. To view the laws regarding operating your ORV, visit the Washington State Legislature RCW 46.09.470.

Track the Washington wildland fire season on our Fire Twitter feed.

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