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BURN BANS AND REGULATIONS 

Air quality, indoor and outdoor burning rules

South County Fire responds to fire emergencies that threaten life or property. 

Air Quality Burn Bans - are called by the Puget Sound Clean Air agency to restrict indoor burning, usually during cold winter months

Fire Safety Burn Bans - limiting outdoor burning may be required by the County Fire Marshal, typically in summer months 

Outdoor Burning Prohibited

Outdoor burning is prohibited in all areas of southwest Snohomish County.  It’s always illegal to:

  • Burn trash
  • Use a burn barrel
  • Smoke out your neighbor
What isn't allowed: Prohibited uses include burn barrels and land-clearing fires. It is also illegal to smoke out your neighbor. If they complain, you are required to put the fire out immediately. You can be fined for causing a nuisance, and you may be held financially liable for damages caused by your fire.  

Recreational Fires

What is allowed: Recreational fires are allowed on your own private property and in designated locations in some public parks. Recreational fire means “cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure or ceremonial purposes.”

You can have a fire in your backyard as long as it is:

  • At least 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material
  • In a fire pit or appliance manufactured for that purpose
  • Limited to three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in height
  • Burning only dry clean wood. Building scraps, trash and green wood are prohibited

Safe backyard fires: Recreational fires must be constantly attended. Have a shovel, rake and garden hose or a 4-A fire extinguisher available for immediate use.

What if there's a burn ban?

Recreational fires are prohibited during air pollution alerts. If a burn ban is called by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, typically in the fall or winter, ALL outdoor fires - including recreational fires - are prohibited on public and private property.

Small recreational fires are usually still allowed even wildfire danger is high. The Fire Marshal may ban large outdoor fires such as those permitted by the Clean Air Agency. During fire safety burn bans homeowners are asked to take extreme caution to keep your backyard fire in control. In some circumstances, even recreational fires are banned during fire season.

Complaints about outdoor burning