All land clearing, residential and silvicultural burning is prohibited at this time. Recreational campfires are allowed if built in approved fire pits (no burn barrels) in designated campgrounds.
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WAC 173-425 bans the use of a burn barrel and prohibits the burning of all material, except natural vegetation grown on the property and firewood (defined as bare, untreated wood, not dimensional lumber). This regulation also prohibits burning during periods of impaired air quality and prohibits outdoor burning from becoming a nuisance to surrounding neighbors and businesses. Fire safety burn-bans may also be called by county or local fire protection authorities.
- Map of the Longview/Kelso No Burn Area (PDF)
- Map of the Castle Rock No Burn Area Effective January 1, 2007 (PDF)
- Map of the Woodland No Burn Area Effective January 1, 2007 (PDF)
- Description of the Longview/Kelso No Burn Area Boundary (PDF)
Burn Barrel Use Prohibited
The use of a burn barrel was banned in the State of Washington effective April 13, 2000.Burning garbage has been illegal in the State of Washington since 1967.
Recreational fires under 3′x3′x2′ are still allowed in all of Cowlitz County without a permit. Only charcoal or seasoned firewood (no lumber) may be used as fuel for a recreational fire. Recreational fires must be used solely for recreational purposes and may not be used for disposal of yard debris or any other material. Recreational fires may not cause a smoke or odor nuisance to surrounding properties and may be subject to seasonal fire safety burn bans. Recreational fires larger than 3′x3′x2′ inside no burn areas need a written permit from the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA).
Residential Burning (Outside the no-burn boundaries)
As of January 1, 2007 residential burning will no longer be allowed in the urban growth areas of Castle Rock and Woodland. Residential burning is already banned within the Longview/Kelso No Burn Area. Outside of these areas, single piles under 4′x4′x3′ do not need a permit to burn during daylight hours (natural vegetation only). For a list of general requirements or to determine if you are outside of the no burn areas, call SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709.
Piles larger than 4′x4′x3′ but smaller than 10′x10′x6′ outside the no burn areas need a written permit. These free permits can be picked up at local fire stations, mailed to you by calling SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709, or you can download a copy here in Adobe PDF format.
Land Clearing Burning (Outside the no-burn boundaries)
Prior to January 1, 2007, land clearing burning is only allowed outside the Longview/Kelso no burn area. As of January 1, 2007 land clearing burning will also be banned within the urban growth areas of Castle Rock and Woodland, and all other high density areas.
Outside the no burn areas, burn piles larger than 10′x10′x6′ require a land clearing burn permit from SWCAA. The burn permit application can be downloaded in Word format or PDF, printed out and then mailed, faxed or hand-delivered to SWCAA. A site visit is no longer required so a permit can be issued same day with a visit to SWCAA’s office in Vancouver. The permit fee of $100 must be paid to SWCAA prior to issuance of the permit.
Fire Safety Burn Bans
An annual Fire Safety Burn Ban from July 15 through September 30 prohibits residential and land clearing burning throughout Cowlitz County to protect public safety. This Fire Safety Burn Ban may extend beyond these dates by fire marshal recommendation. Outdoor burning is prohibited within the permanent No Burn Areas year-round, regardless of the Fire Safety Burn Ban. The pre-designated Fire Safety Burn Ban and aggressive complaint and enforcement program are designed to promote clean air, good health and reduced fire danger for everyone.
To qualify for agricultural burning inside the no-burn boundaries you must have filed a “Schedule F” with your federal income tax. Orchard prunings alone do not qualify for an agricultural burn and other restrictions apply (WAC 173-430). Call SWCAA for detailed information, forms and possible fees. For more information about this program, click here.
For all silvicultural/forest practice burning call the Pacific Cascades Region of the Department of Natural Resources at 360-577-2025. There is a permit fee.
Areas Where Burning is Not Allowed
WAC 173-425 prohibits outdoor burning in cities with a population of greater than 10,000 and their Urban Growth Areas. Prohibitions also apply to adjacent areas with a population density of one thousand or more persons per square mile and areas with a reasonable alternative to burning. As of January 1, 2007 urban growth areas for incorporated cities with populations less than 5,000 also become no burn areas.
Burning was permanently banned, with the exception of recreational fires under 3′x3′x2′, within the Expanded No Burn Area of Longview/Kelso on January 1, 2001. To find out if you area is within the Longview-Kelso No Burn Area, please refer to this map, the description of the Longview/Kelso Expanded No-Burn Area Boundary or call SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709.
As of January 1, 2007 Castle Rock, Woodland and their surrounding urban growth areas will become no burn areas with the exception of recreational fires under 3′x3′x2′ (no lumber, yard debris or garbage). For a map of the Castle Rock No Burn Area, click here. For a map of the Woodland No Burn Area, click here. Land clearing burning will be prohibited in all areas of the state with a population density of more than 1,000 people per square mile as of January 1, 2007. For more information, call SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709.
We make every effort to ensure that all burn ban announcements and restrictions are posted. Always call or visit your county and local clean air agency and check the DNR fire danger for the most current information.