Burn ban archives for: Thurston County

THURSTON COUNTY BURN BAN – COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BAN

The Thurston County Outdoor Burn Ban on residential materials has been expanded county-wide to now prohibit some recreational fires, effective as of 10 a.m., Wednesday August 2 and ending Monday, September 4, 2017.

This burn ban applies to outdoor recreational burning with the exception of recreational fires in approved concrete, stone or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds. The use of charcoal briquettes, gas and propane barbeques will continue to be allowed under the ban.

The Thurston County Fire Marshal in consultation with the County Manager, the Board of County Commissioners and the Executive Committee of the Thurston County Fire Chiefs’ Association, determined that current weather conditions within the county have created substantial fire danger and there is a need to enact restrictions on outdoor burning to all lands regulated by Thurston County.

Residential Burn Ban in Effect July 15 – October 1 in Thurston County

Outdoor burning of residential materials in Thurston County is prohibited July 15 through October 1. This seasonal prohibition, crafted by the Thurston County Residential Outdoor Burning Committee, has been in effect for many years. The Committee includes representatives from Thurston County, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local fire agencies and Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).

Outdoor burning is prohibited year-round for residents within the cities of Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey, as well as for county residents within the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary. Additionally, residential outdoor burn bans began July 1 in Jefferson and Clallam Counties. At this time, recreational fires are not affected by the seasonal curtailment. Recreational fires are fires used for entertainment or cooking purposes and are made of either charcoal or seasoned firewood. They can be no larger than 3 feet diameter.

The restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer and early autumn has resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past couple years, according to fire officials.

“Safety stands as the most important consideration here,” said Dan Nelson, spokesman for ORCAA. “Also, as the restrictions have greatly reduced the number of escaped brush fires in the county each year, there has been a reduction in big smoke events as well.”

Fortunately, safe and effective alternatives to burning exist. Residents have several options for disposing of their yard waste. These include the following:

  • Composting: Maintaining a home compost pile provides you with a ready source of rich soil additives that will get ride of your yard waste while reducing (or eliminating) your need for expensive fertilizes. Use the natural compost as a soil additive in your gardens to keep your flowers bright, and your vegetables plump and tasty.
  • Chipping/Grinding: Bigger, woody debris may be too large for the compost bin. That’s where a chipper comes in. Rent one yourself, or get together with your neighbors to do a neighborhood chipping party. Wood chips can be composted, or used as ground cover around open flower beds (to supplement or replace expensive beauty bark).
  • County-Wide Curbside Organics Bin, Offered through LeMay, www.lemayinc.comCurbside organics/yard waste service is available in virtually all areas of Thurston County. To sign up for service and have a bin delivered to your home, call LeMay Enterprises at (360) 923-0111. If you live in the City of Olympia, call (360) 753-8368, option 1. (Yard waste bins are now called “organics” bins.) For more information, visit the Food Plus Organics Recycling web page.
  •  Yard Debris Drop-Off Site located at:

Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center,
2418 Hogum Bay Road NE
Lacey, WA 98516

For more information on the outdoor burning rules throughout ORCAA’s jurisdiction, visit http://www.orcaa.org/burning/residential-burning

Stage 1 Burn Ban LIFTED in Thurston County

Due to improved air quality conditions and changing weather, the Stage One Burn Ban has been LIFTED in Thurston County effective at 11 a.m. today (Monday, Jan. 16, 2017).

A substantial reduction in smoke output due at least in part to the great public response to the called ban, has moved Air Quality conditions back into the “Green” on the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) scale (see real-time air quality conditions HERE).

To stay up-to-date on burn bans throughout Washington, visit waburnbans.net and for all air quality issues, visit ORCAA at www.orcaa.org.

Stage 1 Burn Ban called for Thurston County

Stage 1 Burn Ban called for Thurston County

A Stage One Burn Ban is being called for Thurston County effective 2 p.m. today (Friday, January 13, 2017) and continuing until conditions warrant a change.

Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any woodstove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.

A system of stable weather conditions over Western Washington, coupled with cold overnight temperatures has resulted in air pollution levels climbing enough to raise concerns about the air quality and its impacts on health. A change in weather will be needed to restore cleaner air quality, yet that’s not forecast to occur until Monday at the earliest.

While pollution levels in Thurston County warrants the Stage One Ban, other counties within the jurisdiction of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) haven’t reached that level. To avoid bans in their areas, the residents of Mason, Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson Counties are asked to voluntarily refrain from all outdoor burning, and to use safe alternatives to wood heat if possible.

Of particular concern are fine particles released by smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.

Olympic Region Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to determine when the burn ban can be lifted. In the meantime, here are some other things people can do to help protect the air we breathe:

  • If you have a certified wood stove or fireplace insert, make sure you are using it properly so you don’t produce excess chimney smoke. Excess smoke is always illegal. To learn more about clean burning techniques or upgrading to a certified, pellet, natural gas or propane stove, visit http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/
  • To determine if your stove is certified, visit www.orcaa.org.
  • Limit your driving as much as possible, since vehicles are a big source of air pollution year round. Check air-quality forecasts and current conditions at www.orcaa.org.

For more information about Burn Ban regulations, you may refer to Chapter 173-433 of the Washington Administrative Code.