Outdoor Burn Bans
Fire season is here and as temperatures rise, many counties and fire agencies have instituted burn bans. These bans can prohibit everything from burning yard waste to a campfire. In Washington, a burn ban violation is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000. “Outdoor fires that get out of control can cause large wildfires that put citizens, firefighters and property at risk,” says State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy. You may also be responsible for the cost of putting out the fire as well as any damaged property.
To better understand a burn ban, residents should familiarize themselves with the following types of outdoor fires –
Agricultural Burning: The burning of vegetative debris from an agricultural operation necessary for disease or pest control, for crop propagation and/or crop rotation, or where identified as the best management practice by the agricultural burning practices and research task force established in RCW 70.94.650 or other authoritative source on agricultural practices.
Ceremonial Fire: A fire built of dry wood for an organized function (e. g. Homecoming game, religious functions, etc)
Debris Disposal Fire: A fire for the elimination of a fire hazard and for the purpose of clean-up of natural vegetation and residue of a natural character such as leaves, clippings, trees, stumps, brush, shrubbery and wood so long as it has not been treated by an application of prohibited material or substance. There are established size limitations based on the time of year and the county within which the burning occurs.
Recreational Fire: A fire for the purpose of sport, pastime or refreshment in a hand-built pile no larger than four feet in diameter and not associated with any debris disposal activities related to fire hazard elimination or yard and garden refuse clean-up.
Silvicultural Burning: All burning on any land the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) protects, or on any forest lands administered by federal agencies or Indian nations.
Always check with your local fire department for permit and safety requirements before you light any outdoor fire. For more information, please visit the Office of State Fire Marshal website at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/firemars Specific county burn ban information can be obtained at http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx or by calling 800-323-BURN.