Spring is here and with its arrival comes the need for outdoor clean up.
Here are some simplified guidelines and considerations you should take for the burning of vegetation.
The Department of Ecology regulations are designed to reduce the effects of smoke and protect air quality. Please check the Ecology website (ecology.wa.gov) prior to burning to determine which days you can legally burn or call the Burn Hotline toll free at: 1-800-406-5322.
Outside the Urban Growth Area (UGA) residential burning is allowed without a permit. All residential burning must be conducted during daylight hours only and must be at least 50 feet away from any structure. Piles can be only of natural vegetation (trash and construction debris is prohibited) and may not be larger than four feet in diameter and three feet high. You can only ignite one pile at a time. Burning during windy conditions is prohibited. You must have adequate water available at your burn pile and the fire must be continually attended. Nuisance fires must be extinguished immediately. Burn barrels are prohibited. Inside the UGA, only tumbleweeds can be burned. The same rules for burning apply. Recreational fires include cooking fires and campfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.
Recreational fires are allowed inside and outside of the UGA and must be conducted within an approved recreational fire pit or a commercially approved device. Fires used for the disposal of yard waste and debris are not considered recreational fires. The size of a recreational fire is limited to three feet in diameter and two feet in height. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Bon fires are prohibited unless previously approved and permitted by your local fire authority having jurisdiction.
Agricultural burning is allowed by permit only with four exceptions: tumble weeds, ditch banks, annual prunings, and fence rows. The agricultural burning regulation (WAC 173-430) defines a commercial agricultural operation as a farmer who is practicing agriculture for commercial purposes and has filed an IRS schedule F form or its corporate equivalent. Permit holders are required to follow the daily DOE burn decision and get permission/ notify their local fire district prior to burning. Permits are required for ground clearing activity and can be conditional.