Outdoor Burning Rules
For Unincorporated Grays Harbor County
Burning and Land Clearing Burning
The following does not apply to burning within
the limits of any city.
The following does not apply to lands
“under the protection of” the state Department of Natural Resources
(DNR), which are “all lands subject to the forest protection assessment
under RCW 76.04.610 (such lands include any parcel of at least .01 acre
with trees thereon, a property tax statement will indicate whether the
parcel to be burned upon is subject to such assessment). Permits for burning on such lands
are issued by the DNR Central Region office, 1-800-527-3305.
Outdoor burning is regulated pursuant
to the requirements of Chapter 70.94 RCW and the rules promulgated
thereto and contained in Chapter 173-425 WAC.
Residential Burning –
“means the outdoor burning of leaves, clippings, pruning, and other yard
and gardening refuse originating on lands immediately adjacent and in
close proximity to a human dwelling and burned on such lands by the
property owner or his or her designee.” [WAC 173-425-030(22)]
Recreational Fire – “means cooking
fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in
designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or
ceremonial purposes.” [WAC 173-425-030(21)]
Land Clearing Burning – “means outdoor
burning of trees, stumps, shrubbery, or other natural vegetation from
land clearing projects (i.e., projects that clear the land surface so it
can be developed, used for a different purpose, or left unused).” [WAC 173-425-030(9)]
Prohibited Materials – “The following
materials may not be burned in any outdoor fire: garbage, dead animals, asphalt,
petroleum products, paints, rubber products, plastics, paper (other than
what is necessary to start a fire), cardboard, treated wood,
construction/demolition debris, or any substance (other than natural
vegetation) that normally releases toxic emissions, dense smoke, or
obnoxious odors when burned…”
The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency is
authorized to levy penalties against those who burn such prohibited
materials. Grays Harbor
County cannot issue permits for burning of prohibited materials.
Residential Burning – No permit is
required for residential burning.
Recreational Burning – No permit is
required for recreational burning. [WAC 173-425-060(2)(j)]
Land Clearing Burning – A written permit is
required from the state Department of Natural Resources, Central Region
office. [WAC 173-425-060(2)(b)]
Hauled Materials – “No outdoor fire
may contain material (other than firewood) that has been hauled from an
area where outdoor burning of material is prohibited under WAC
173-425-040.” [WAC 173-425-050(2)]
Since outdoor burning is, as of January
1, 2001, prohibited within Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and Cosmopolis, materials
may not be hauled from those cities for burning in unincorporated areas
of Grays Harbor County.
“The following conditions apply to all
residential burning without a permit under WAC 173-425-060…” [WAC 173-425-060(5)(c)]
- The person responsible for the fire must ascertain the
burning conditions for each day.
- A fire may not be ignited, and must be extinguished, if an
air pollution episode, impaired air quality conditions, or fire
danger burn ban that applies to the burning, is declared for the
- The fire must contain only “natural vegetation” and may
contain only enough paper to ignite the fire.
- The fire must not include materials hauled from another
- If emissions from the fire are detrimental to the health,
safety, or welfare of any person; if it causes damage to property or
business; or if it causes a nuisance; the fire must be extinguished
- A person capable of extinguishing the fire must attend it at
all times, and the fire must be extinguished before leaving it.
- No fires are to be within 50 feet of structures.
- The property owner must approve burning or the owner’s
designated representative, before burning is commenced.
- No burn pile shall be larger than four (4) feet by four (4)
feet by three (3) feet.
- Only one pile at a time may be burned, and each pile must be
extinguished before lighting another.
- If an outdoor container is used for burning, it must be
constructed of concrete or masonry with a completely enclosed
combustion chamber and equipped with a permanently attached spark
arrestor constructed of iron, heavy wire mesh, or other
noncombustible material with openings not larger than one-half (1/2)
- No fire is permitted within five hundred (500) feet of
Neighbors – Burning, of any
material, produces emissions that are harmful to human health. Such emissions are particularly
harmful to those with respiratory illnesses, to which the elderly and
children are often more susceptible. Please exercise basic consideration for others when
Fire Danger – Please also
exercise basic common sense in assessing the fire danger before you begin
burning. Call DNR at
1-800-527-3305 to determine the level of fire danger.
Burn Bans – Before burning,
please determine if a burn ban has been declared. Call the DNR Central Region or
check with the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency at 1-800-422-5623 or at
www.orcaa.org to determine if either agency has declared a burn ban.
Notice – Before burning call
central dispatch at 360-533-8765 and notify the dispatcher that you will
Questions – Call the Fire
Marshal office of the Grays Harbor County Department of Public Services
at 360-249-5579 ext. 437.
Go to top