Outdoor Burning
The #1 Human Cause of Wildfires

Burning responsibly is the best way to prevent unwanted wildfires and costly fines.  Escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires in the State of Washington .  This site is full of the information and tips to help you burn safely and legally. It contains information for CLARK , COWLITZ , WAHKIAKUM, LEWIS and SKAMANIA Counties.

Documents below regarding various Outdoor Burning Situations:

 Step 1:  Determine where you
will be burning
 A No Burn
If you are located in a no burn zone, no burning is allowed.  That was easy!  Whew! Aren’t you glad you checked the rules!
Click Here To Find Out More About No Burn Zones
If you will be burning on unimproved land (primarily silvicultural burning-burning for forestry purposes), your fire will fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources.
Click here to find out the rules for Silvicultural and burning on unimproved property.
Click Here To Find Out More About Burning on Unimproved Land
Improved Land If you are on improved land (such as yards, pastures, etc.) you will need to determine if your burning is recreational, residential or land clearing. Go to Step 2 below

 Step 2:  Determine
what type of burning
you will be doing
 Recreational You might need a permit
Click Here for the Recreational Burning Rules.
 Residential Click Here for The Residential Burn Rules.
 Land Clearing  A permit is probably required. Click Here To Find Out How To Obtain A Permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Be Burned?
No matter what type of fire you're planning, it is legal to burn only natural vegetation or firewood. It is against the law to burn anything else - even paper (except for the amount necessary to start a fire).

Can Burn Barrels Be Used?
No, the use of burn barrels is prohibited statewide.*

Can Construction and Demolition Debris Be Burned?
It is illegal to burn any material resulting from a construction, renovation or demolition project.

When is Burning Allowed?
Burning is allowed only during daylight hours, unless otherwise permitted. Check with your county for local ordinances. Recreational fires are excluded from this restriction. Burn only when winds are light and do not exceed 7 - 10 MPH. No burning is allowed during a burn ban.
Call your local county offices or 1-800-323-BURN for current burn ban information.

When is Burning Considered a Nuisance?
Smoke, odor or ash that unreasonably impacts neighboring properties is illegal.

  1. Washington banned the use of burn barrels in 2000. Burning garbage has been illegal since 1967. WAC 173-425 bans the use of a burn barrel and prohibits the burning of all material, except firewood and natural vegetation grown on the property. This regulation also prohibits burning during periods of impaired air quality and prohibits outdoor burning from becoming a nuisance to surrounding neighbors and businesses.
  2. Permanent Annual fire safety burn bans are in effect in Cowlitz, Calrk and Skamania Counties as follows:
    Cowlitz Co. July 15 thru Sept. 30
    Clark Co. July 15 thru Sept. 30
    Skamania Co. July 1 thru Sept. 30
    These bans may be extended beyond these dates if conditions warrant it.