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 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
- If you have a fire-safety concern, call 911 immediately.
- If you have an air quality complaint, contact Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.