Burn Ban Status
To check the current Clean Air Agency burn ban status.
State law prohibits outdoor fires in urbanized areas (incorporated cities, suburbs and adjacent areas). State law allows only Native American ceremonial fires and very small recreational fires inside no-burn areas.
Native American Ceremonial Fires
State law defines these as fires "necessary for Native American ceremonies (i.e., conducted by and for Native Americans) if part of a religious ritual." If you wish to have Native American ceremonial fire outside of tribal lands, you must have a permit from the local fire district. These permits will not be granted during air-quality burn bans and fire-safety burn bans.
These are defined in state law as cooking fires, campfires and bonfires that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure or ceremonial purposes. These fires must be no larger than three feet in diameter and two feet high. You can use only charcoal, dried firewood or manufactured firelogs. Any other fuel is prohibited. Recreational fires are always prohibited during air-quality burn bans. Check with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to see what the current Burn Ban status is.
Fires lit in chimneys, fire pits, fire bowls and similar free-standing devices, commonly sold at home-improvement stores and mass retailers, are also considered “recreational” and should also only use charcoal, dried firewood or manufactured firelogs (some brands make outdoor-specific firelogs).
Other general requirements for a recreational fire, as stated in WAC 173-425-050(6) and UFC 1102.4, state that:
- A person be capable of extinguishing the fire must attend it at all times, and the fire must be extinguished before leaving it.
- No fires are to be within 50 feet of structures.
- Buckets, shovel, garden hose or a fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating shall be readily available for use (UFC 1102.4.3).
- Permission from a landowner, or owner’s designated representative, must be obtained before starting an outdoor fire. Outdoor fires may be prohibited during a fire-safety burn ban.
It's always illegal to smoke out your neighbor.
If smoke from your fire bothers your neighbors, damages their property or otherwise causes a nuisance, you must immediately put it out. If enforcement is required, you could be fined up to $13,000 per day.
It's always illegal to use a BURN BARREL.
It's always illegal to burn prohibited materials.
These materials include:
- Garbage or refuse
- Cardboard paper (except what is necessary to start the fire)
- Building materials, including paints, vinyl flooring, roofing, and scrap lumber
- Rubber products, including tires
- Plastics or petroleum products
- Dead animals
- Any other material that produces smoke that is offensive or harmful to your neighbors
To register a complaint about wood smoke from fireplaces and wood stoves, and for all other air quality complaints, visit www.pscleanair.org/contact/Pages/complaint.aspx.
If you have any questions, call 1-800-552-3565 (Washington only).
The above regulations are only a summary. For more information on these regulations, to find out ways to dispose of yard waste, and for a list of useful links for homeowners and businesses, please visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency web site on Facts About Outdoor Burning, or visit the links below.