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Firefighter directs a hose on an outside fire between Bay and Grandview Roads, east of Blaine Road (July 14, 2017). Photo: Whatcom News

UPDATED: County Fire Marshal announces open burning ban

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office (WCFMO) announced today they will be placing restrictions on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County beginning 8am Friday, July 12th.

UPDATE: Whatcom County Fire District 17 (Sandy Point) also announced they also will be placing restrictions on open burning effective July 12th at 8am.

Today’s announcements was were due to “the warm weather conditions ahead and decreasing fuel moisture levels.”

Under the burn ban, “all land clearing and yard debris burning must be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended,” the WCFMO said in their announcement.


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Recreational fires will still be allowed with permission of the landowner. Recreational fires must meet the following requirements:

  • Must only contain seasoned firewood or charcoal
  • Must be contained in an enclosure no larger than 3’ X 3’ across, and must be a minimum 16” high, made of cement blocks, stones, or steel
  • Beach fires (where allowed) can be dug into an 8” deep pit, surrounded by 4” high enclosure of rocks
  • Fires must be 25’ from structures, timber, and combustible materials
  • A charged garden hose or (2) 5-gallon buckets full of water to be next to the fire
  • A shovel or rake capable of stirring and extinguishing the fire to be on-site
  • Recreational fires are allowed after dark, if attended by someone 16 years or older at all times
  • Fires must be attended until out cold
  • No burning when winds exceed 7 MPH

Violations of these burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250 fine. In addition, if you have a fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially responsible for fire suppression costs, as well as be criminally charged.

Residents must phone the WCFMO’s Outdoor Burning Information Line every time you burn in Whatcom County: 360-778-5903.

Burning restrictions within the boundaries of WCFD5 (Pt. Roberts), WCFD11 (Lummi Island) and WCFD17 (Sandy Point) are determined separately by those fire districts.

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There is a permanent burn ban in place within the Ferndale city limits and surrounding urban growth areas. Burning household yard waste (such as leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings) is illegal in those areas.

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