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Whatcom County fire districts announce burn bans

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

Officials with the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office announced today, June 21st, due to the warm weather conditions ahead and decreasing fuel moisture levels they will be enacting restrictions on open burning throughout unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 5pm on Friday, June 25th.

All land clearing and yard debris burning must be discontinued at that time and all issued
burn permits are suspended according to today’s announcement.

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 7 MPH.

Violations of these burn restrictions may result in a minimum $250.00 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.

Officials with the Whatcom County Fire District 11 (WCFD11), serving Lummi Island, also have announced fire danger has been raised to “MODERATE” at 8am on Monday, June 21st. As a result, recreational, residential and land clearing fires are allowed but fires over 4 feet in diameter require a written permit and fires less than 4 feet require a general permit. Call 360-758-2411 to obtain a written permit and visit the Islander Store or the WCFD11 website for 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 incorporated cities and their surrounding Urban Growth Areas.

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