Burn restrictions in effect for parts of Whatcom County

The temperature is rising and so is the risk for a wildfire.

The Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office issued restrictions on open burning for unincorporated Whatcom County, including Birch Bay, beginning at 8 a.m. on July 13. Land clearing and yard debris burning is prohibited and issued burn permits are suspended, according to the fire marshal’s office.

Recreational fires are still permitted with the landowner’s permission. All recreational fires should meet these requirements:

– Contains only seasoned firewood or charcoal.

– Placed in an enclosure that is no larger than 3-by-3-feet and 16-inches high made of blocks, stones or steel.

– Dug into an 8-inch-deep pit that is surrounded by a 4-inch-high rock enclosure, if on a beach.

– At least 25-feet away from structures, timber and combustible material.

– Next to a garden hose or two, 5-gallon buckets filled with water.

– Near a shovel or rake that is capable of extinguishing fire.

– Attended to by at least one individual that is 16 years or older, at all times.

– Monitored until out cold.

– Burn only when winds are 7 mph or below.

“Violations of these burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250 fine,” according to the fire marshal. “In addition, if you have a fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially responsible for fire suppression costs, as well as be criminally charged.”

To learn more, contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360/778-5900 or visit whatcomcounty.us/FireMarshal.

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