Terms Explained

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.