Burn ban archives for: Thurston County

Thurston County Burn Ban extended effective Aug 8, 2018

Thurston County Burn Ban – Countywide Outdoor Burn Ban

Current weather conditions create substantial fire danger

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Fire Marshal, in consultation with the County Manager, the Board of County Commissioners and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), 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.

The Fire Safety Burn Ban applies to residential yard-waste burning as well as all Land Clearing Burns. At this time, recreational fires are allowed on private residential properties and in established fire rings within official county, state or federal campgrounds.

Recreational fires must be contained 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 restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer has resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past several years, according to fire officials.

The Thurston County Outdoor Burn Ban is effective as of 3 p.m., Monday, July 16, and ending Sept. 30, 2018.

To stay up-to-date on the status of burn bans, please visit for the ORCAA website at www.orcaa.com.

Thurston County Burn Ban – Countywide Outdoor Burn Ban

Thurston County Burn Ban – Countywide Outdoor Burn Ban
Current weather conditions create substantial fire danger

​OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Fire Marshal, in consultation with the County Manager, the Board of County Commissioners and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), 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.

The Fire Safety Burn Ban applies to residential yard-waste burning as well as all Land Clearing Burns. At this time, recreational fires are allowed on private residential properties and in established fire rings within official county, state or federal campgrounds.

Recreational fires must be contained 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 restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer has resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past several years, according to fire officials.

The Thurston County Outdoor Burn Ban is effective as of 3 p.m., Monday, July 16, and ending Saturday, September 22, 2018.

To stay up-to-date on the status of burn bans, please visit for the ORCAA website at https://www.orcaa.org.

(Original published July 16, 2018)

Effective Aug. 2, DNR Bans Outdoor Burning Statewide

Some campfires still allowed, check local restrictions before lighting any fire

OLYMPIA –Ninety-six percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, which means a high risk of wildfires. In response, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is instituting a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.

Per the Commissioner’s Order, the ban begins Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Included in the outdoor burning ban are burn piles, prescribed burns, and the use of charcoal briquettes.

“When the risk of wildfire is this high – and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed – we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” said Commissioner Hilary Franz. “I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”

The burn ban does not include federally managed lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other areas administered by federal agencies.

Campfires are still allowed in approved fire pits within some designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

To avoid accidental wildfires, the public can practice these prevention tips:

Camping and recreating

  • Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch. Check locally before lighting a campfire as conditions may change and counties and local fire districts may have additional or new burn restrictions.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.

 Vehicles and Towing

  • Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle or trailer. They can throw sparks and start fires.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. You may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning.

The outdoor burning ban is expected to last through Sept. 30, 2018, though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.

Stay connected during wildfire season

Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Led by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned land. DNR is the state’s largest wildfire fighting force.

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. 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 https://www.orcaa.org/outdoor-burning/residential-outdoor-burning/