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Sandy Point burn ban to be lifted Monday, allowing recreational fires again in that part of the county

Backyard recreational campfire file photo. Whatcom News
Backyard recreational campfire file photo. Whatcom News

SANDY POINT, Wash. — This past summer saw the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office (WCFMO) and Whatcom County Fire Districts implement a Stage 2 burn ban in early July which effectively banned recreational fires. Extended periods without rain plus unseasonably warm weather resulted in low fuel moisture levels necessitating the bans.

Friday, Whatcom Fire District 17 (WCFD17) Fire Chief Jim Petrie announced the Stage 2 burn ban would be lifted in their area effective 8am Monday, August 30th. WCFD17’s jurisdiction encompasses Sandy Point Shores, Sandy Point Heights, Neptune Heights, Neptune Beach and other western portions of the Lummi Indian Reservation.

WCFD17 fire station locations.

WCFD17 maintains a permanent Stage 1 ban so all outdoor fires continue to be prohibited including land clearing and yard debris fires. But recreational camp and beach fires are now allowed in designated campgrounds and on improved properties with the landowner’s permission. Recreational fires are fires that are less than 3 feet in diameter, burning only seasoned firewood or charcoal and are built in an approved fire enclosure.

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Unincorporated areas in Whatcom County and Lummi Island remain under Stage 2 burn bans and as such do not permit recreational fires.

Stage 2 burn bans do allow gas campfires, gas and charcoal grills, pressurized gas stoves and fully enclosed smokers.

Violations of burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250.00 fine. In addition, if you have an illegal 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 criminally responsible according to WCFMO.

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