WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Officials with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office announced today, June 2nd, they will be enacting restrictions on open burning throughout unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 8am on Friday, June 9th. Forecast warm weather conditions and decreasing fuel moisture levels were cited as the reasons for the restrictions.
All land clearing and yard debris burning must be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended. Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office (June 5, 2023)
Recreational fires will still be allowed with the landowner’s permission. 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 7mph
Violations of burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250 fine. In addition, anyone with a fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, may be held financially responsible for fire suppression costs, as well as be criminally charged.
Officials with the Whatcom County Fire District 11 (WCFD11), serving Lummi Island, announced fire danger was at MODERATE fire danger level and the restrictions that correspond with it on May 21st. Permissions and restrictions under the MODERATE level include the following.
- Recreational, residential and land clearing fires are allowed
- Fires OVER 4 feet in diameter require a written permit
- Fires LESS than 4 feet require a general permit
Whatcom County Fire District 17, serving the Sandy Point region, maintains a permanent burn ban prohibiting residential yard debris, beach debris and land clearing fires at any time.
A similar permanent burn ban is in place within the following incorporated cities and urban growth areas (UGAs).
- City of Bellingham and surrounding UGAs
- City of Sumas and surrounding UGAs
- City of Lynden and surrounding UGAs
- Cities of Everson and Nooksack and surrounding UGAs
- City of Ferndale and surrounding UGAs
- City of Blaine and surrounding UGAs
- Urban growth area of Cherry Point
- Urban growth area of Columbia Valley
- Urban growth area of Birch Bay