ORCAA Board votes to update campfire rules for Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater

Small campfire set within paver-stone ring.

The ORCAA Board of Directors, during the January 11, 2023, meeting voted to revise ORCAA’s rules concerning recreational fires, i.e., ‘campfires’, within the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater.

The vote came after the Board considered multiple written comments received in the weeks prior to the meeting, and after hearing several public comments during the Public Hearing that was part of the meeting.

The Board voted to adopt the revisions to Rules 6.2.7c and 6.2.8 that removes the blanket ban on campfires in Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, making the rules for those cities consistent with all other cities within ORCAA’s jurisdiction.

The updated rules will be effective as of March 6, 2023.

The rule change removes the extra layer of regulation that was unique to those cities while retaining rules that ban nuisance smoke and fire hazards. The revision will allow both ORCAA compliance officers and fire officials within those cities to focus on the true problem burns rather than simple rule violations. ORCAA has worked closely with the fire departments of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater. These agencies support the rule revision as a positive step to streamline regulations and focus enforcement on problem areas. The rule change does NOT change local fire safety, zoning, or building code rules.

ORCAA’s compliance efforts will continue to focus on enforcement of nuisance smoke and illegal trash burning complaints. ORCAA’s commitment to clean air won’t change, although this proposal will strengthen ORCAA’s ability to focus its resources on problem areas. The brochure linked below contains information about the responsibilities for those who do chose to have backyard campfires and easy ways to reduce smoke from these fires.

If anyone experiences ANY nuisance smoke or other air quality problems, they should let ORCAA know. As a small agency, ORCAA’s enforcement efforts are driven by complaints. If ORCAA doesn’t hear about problems, it can’t respond to them. By letting ORCAA know about smoke concerns, with as much detail as possible (i.e., when the problem occurs, what the specific problem is, the source of the problem, etc.) ORCAA can respond. People may contact ORCAA by phone at (360) 539-7610, by email at info@orcaa.org, or by using the online complaint form.


Media Contact

Dan Nelson

Communications/Outreach Manager