Terms Explained

Stage 1 Burn Ban

  • A condition declared by Ecology or a Local Air Agency when forecasted meteorological conditions are predicted to cause fine particulate levels to exceed thirty-five micrograms per cubic meter, measured on a twenty-four hour average, within forty-eight hours. RCW 70.94.473(b).

Stage 2 Burn Ban

  • A condition declared by Ecology or a Local Air Agency when fine particulates are at or above an ambient level of twenty-five micrograms per cubic meter, measured on a twenty-four hour average, and forecasted meteorological conditions are not expected to allow levels of fine particulates to decline below twenty-five micrograms per cubic meter for a period of twenty-four hours or more from the time that the fine particulates are measured at the trigger level RCW 70.94.473(c).

Stage 1 & 2 Burn Bans: A person responsible for an applicable solid fuel burning device already in operation at the time Impaired Air Quality is declared shall withhold new solid fuel for the duration of the Impaired Air Quality.  Smoke visible from a chimney, flue, or exhaust duct after three hours has elapsed from the declaration of the Impaired Air Quality shall constitute prima facie evidence of unlawful operation of an applicable solid fuel burning device.  This presumption may be refuted by demonstration that the smoke was not caused by a solid fuel burning device

Adequate Source of Heat -means a furnace or heating system, connected or disconnected from its energy source, designed with the ability to maintain seventy degrees Fahrenheit (70F) at a point three (3) feet above the floor in all normally inhabited areas of a dwelling. Garages are specifically excluded. We encourage resident to have a written woodstove exemption.

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)]

Outdoor burning includes recreational, residential, land clearing, agricultural (including field, orchard, and habitat burning), silvicultural, fire training, ceremonial fires, and all other types of outdoor burning.

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…” [WAC 173-425-050(1)]

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)]

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)]


Residential Burning – No permit is required for residential burning. [WAC 173-425-060(2)(a)]

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)]


“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 area.
  • 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 property.
  • 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 immediately.
  • 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) inch.
  • No fire is permitted within five hundred (500) feet of forest slash.

9 thoughts on “Terms Explained

  1. Wayne Mack

    How do I obtain a written wood stove exemption as my baseboard heat will not keep my main living area above 62 degrees when the temperature drops below 40 degrees outside.

    1. admin Post author

      Hello Wayne. If you could please let me know what county you live in, I can direct you to the appropriate Agency.

      Thank you.

      Mark Moore
      Network Administrator
      Olympic Region Clean Air Agency
      360.539.7610 x117

  2. Tim Evoy

    Hello, I lived in King County and I would like a wood stove exemption. Can you please direct me to the appropriate agency? Are there conditions defined for the exemption since my stove was designed and manufactured in France. The stove meets their regulations for both coal and word burning as the fuel source. Thanks in advance for your help. Tim

  3. mike

    stage 1 , what ta heck is a microgram , i know what a gram & a meter are ? i have a new Lopi woodstove emision are 1.94 gr. per hr.& it is on the epa certified woodstove list . i am in pierce co. gramham area . thanks mike

  4. David Hasko

    I just read Mr. Mack’s comments and I to have the same problem of maintaining proper heat from my baseboard when the outside temp. drops.
    I live in Snohomish Co. and have a pellet stove. If you can direct me to the proper agency to inquire about a written exemption that would be helpful.
    Thank you.

  5. Linda Turner

    I live in Klickitat County which is currently under an outdoor burn ban. Can my neighbor use his containerized wood fire BBQ in his backyard during this burn ban? He claims it has a grate and a screen.

  6. Chuck M.

    I live on 40 privately owned acres in stevens county. Are these acres considered “DNR protected”?



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