The state of Washington has exempted orchard weed control by propane burner from a statewide burn ban, according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.

The ban, which included a prohibition on all agricultural weed burning, took effect July 6 via Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation in reaction to drought conditions.

The tree fruit association and state Department of Agriculture sought an exemption for the use of propane weed burners in irrigated orchard settings. The amended order allows such burners on living plant material if the orchard floor is wet, winds are 7 miles per hour or lower, the flame is turned to its lowest setting and the operator carries a fire extinguisher.

—by Ross Courtney