Recreational Fires / Outdoor Burning

Recreational Fires / Outdoor Burning

Outdoor Burning Restriction Update

August 2021 Red Flag Event

UPDATE: The red flag event has been lifted Fire Marshal Webb is allowing recreational burning again in Pierce County, and we have updated our website to reflect this: https://www.piercecountywa.org/982/Outdoor-Burning. Please direct any questions to Warner at (253) 798-7217 or  warner.webb@piercecountywa.gov.

Washington State law prohibits residential burning and land-clearing fires in all areas served by Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. This means the burning of yard waste (leaves, branches, twigs, etc.) is not allowed. Using burn barrels and burning any type of garbage is also prohibited. Agricultural burns are legal with a permit from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Yard waste (grass clippings, branches smaller than 4″ in diameter, etc.) is accepted at the LRI Hidden Valley Transfer Station free of charge. For specific information on a location near you, please visit Pierce County Landfill.

RECREATIONAL FIRES DEFINED

Recreational fires are allowed within Central Pierce Fire & Rescue on your private property. According to state rules, the term “recreational fire” means, “Cooking fires and camp fires using charcoal or firewood for cooking or pleasure. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires.”
RECREATIONAL FIRE REQUIREMENTS

WHEN USED FOR COMMON COOKING, FACTORY MANUFACTURED BARBECUES USING CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES, NATURAL GAS, OR PROPANE GAS FOR FUEL ARE EXEMPT FROM THESE REGULATIONS.

  • No garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paint, rubber products, tire, plastic, paper products, plywood, finished lumber or particle board may be burned.
  • Burn barrels shall not be utilized for burning.

AUTHORIZED RECREATIONAL FIRES – PERMIT BY RULES

When following these requirements you are permitted to have a recreational fire. No paper permit will be issued.

  • Fires shall consist of dry seasoned firewood, “Dura-flame/Presto logs” or charcoal briquettes.
  • Burning of yard waste is not allowed in recreational fire pits (no branches, shrubbery, or wet wood).
  • Recreational/campfires are allowed if built in metal or concrete lined fire pits like those located in designated campgrounds, local, county, state parks and in commercial campgrounds. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged.
  • Fires shall not be within twenty-five (25) feet of a structure.
  • Fires shall not be within ten (10) feet of adjoining property lines, fences, or decks.
  • Pits shall not exceed three (3) feet in diameter and flames two (2) feet in height.  The depth of the pit shall be a minimum of four (4) inches and capable of containing all burned material.
  • A minimum of ten (10) feet shall be maintained around the entire pit, free of grass, shrubbery, weeds, vegetation and any other combustible material, including overhanging limbs from trees.
  • Fires shall be attended at all times by an alert individual with immediate access to a shovel and either five (5) gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.

COMPLAINTS / VIOLATIONS

It is unlawful for any person to allow sufficient quantities of particulate matter or air contaminants to be injurious to human health, plant or animal life, or property, or to unreasonably interfere with enjoyment of life and property. Such complaints shall require the Fire District to request the immediate extinguishment of the fire. A second complaint will result in no more recreational fires at this location and/or by person(s) responsible for the illegal burns.

Failure to comply with permit requirements can lead to the issuing of a citation by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA). The penalty is $2,000.00 and up to $21,131.00 a day per violations and/or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days.

For air quality burn ban info call 1-800-595-4341 (PSCAA). For fire safety burn ban info call 253.798.7179 (PC Fire Marshal). To report an illegal fire call 911.