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County Burning Restrictions

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Smoke generated from outdoor burning poses a serious threat to residents

More than 25 percent of the complaints received by ORCAA are the result of outdoor burning issues. Outdoor burning accounts for approximately 10 percent of the state’s air pollution. ORCAA designates an air quality burn ban when levels of fine particulate (PM2.5) are predicted to meet or exceed state and federal standards. ORCAA and other local air quality agencies may call either a Stage 1 or Stage 2 Burn Ban, depending on conditions.

Stage 1 Burn Ban

  1. No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, unless this your only adequate source of heat and you have previously notified ORCAA of that fact.
  2. All outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. This includes recreational fires as well as the use of backyard fire kettles, chimineas or fire pits.
  3. No visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.
  4. Burn ban violations are subject to a monetary penalty.

Stage 2 Burn Ban

  1. No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified), or pellet stoves unless this is your only adequate source of heat. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is canceled.
  2. No outdoor fires of any kind are allowed. This includes recreational fires as well as the use of backyard fire kettles, chimineas, or fire pits.
  3. Burn ban violations are subject to a monetary penalty.

During a Stage 2 ban, residents may use natural gas and propane appliances.

Air Quality vs Fire Safety Burn Bans

ORCAA also honors and supports any and all fire-safety burn bans called by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local fire agencies. Additionally, read about RCW 70A.15.3580, which relates to using wood-burning appliances for heat and air quality burn bans.

  • Air quality burn bans are issued and enforced by the ORCAA when air pollution levels rise to unhealthy levels. Air quality burn bans typically occur during colder fall and winter months.
  • Fire safety burn bans are issued by the fire marshal when dry weather conditions heighten the risk of wildfires. Fire safety burn bans are generally called during the summer and can last for several months.

ORCAA is NOT responsible for issuing or enforcing fire safety burn bans. For more on local fire safety bans, contact your county fire officials. The DNR may also issue burn bans on state-protected lands. For information check the DNR website, or the Department of Ecology’s Burn Ban page.

Permanent No Burn Areas (Cities and UGAs)

Residential yard-waste burning has been phased out in most of the urban and suburban areas of Washington state. Effective January 1, 2007, state law prohibited burning in Cities designated Urban Growth Areas (UGA) within the state. In ORCAA’s jurisdiction the UGA Burn Ban Areas are:

Thurston County UGA Burn Ban Areas
  • Bucoda
  • Grand Mound
  • Lacey
  • Olympia
  • Rainier
  • Tenino
  • Tumwater
  • Yelm
Mason County UGA Burn Ban Areas
  • Allyn
  • Belfair
  • Shelton
Clallam County UGA Burn Ban Areas
  • Carlsborg
  • Clallam Bay-Sekiu
  • Joyce
  • Port Angeles
  • Sequim
Jefferson County
  • Port Hadlock – Irondale
  • Port Townsend
Pacific County
  • Ilwaco
  • Long Beach
  • Raymond
  • South Bend
  • Seaview

Determining Your Burn Rules

To determine if you reside in a No Burn Area IN THURSTON COUNTY, visit https://www.geodata.org/parcelinfo/ and enter your address to receive parcel information. Under the  “Zoning” section, if the “Permitting Jurisdiction” or “Jurisdiction of Influence” is a city or UGA, Residential Yard-waste Burning is PROHIBITED. 

In other counties, simply check the map to see if your address falls within one of the no-burn areas.

To use the map, click the ‘larger map’ icon in the map’s upper right corner (looks like four corners of a frame). In the larger map that opens, use the search icon (magnifying glass) to enter your address. If your address comes up in a shaded area, you are within a no-burn area. Click on the shaded area to see the conditions of that jurisdiction (city or UGA).