WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Citing increasingly dry weather conditions, Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office this morning, July 7th, ordered a Stage 2 burn ban effective immediately. A Stage 2 burn ban restricts all open burning, including recreational campfires and beach fires.
The order follows a similar mandate from the Department of Natural Resources on July 1st and an emergency proclamation from the Governor’s Office yesterday.
Governor Inslee’s office, citing unusually high fire danger, declared a state of emergency so firefighter efforts and any wildfire damages can qualify for federal aid and added a temporary ban on all outdoor and agricultural burning statewide.
Propane fire pits without solid wood burning material will still be allowed, along with propane and charcoal BBQs. Care should be used in the disposal of any used charcoal and ashes. Charcoal and ash should be discarded into a metal container and dowsed with water. The container should be kept 10 feet from any structures or vegetation for 72 hours. Wood burning fire pits or charcoal pits or similar enclosures with grates or screens are NOT considered barbecues and not allowed. The use of liquid gas fired stoves or BBQ’s or charcoal BBQ’s at private residents shall be over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation and structures.
Violations of these orders can result in a minimum fine of $250. In addition, if an illegal fire escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially and criminally responsible.
These outdoor burning restrictions may be reduced as weather and fire danger dictates according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.