Whatcom County announces burn restrictions due to hot weather

Published on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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As of last Friday, setting fires to clear land or destroy yard waste is no longer allowed in Whatcom County.

Wain Harrison, Whatcom County deputy fire marshal, announced that recent hot temperatures and dry conditions have necessitated restrictions on open fires for all of Whatcom County, effective August 17. The restrictions are weather-dependent, and Harrison would not speculate how long the ban might last. The prohibited fires would still require permits even without the ban in place, Harrison added.

“As long as we have this hot, dry weather, the burn ban is going to remain in place,” he said.

The restrictions ban burning to clear property or to destroy yard waste, but recreational fires in pre-approved areas, such as campgrounds, are still allowed, Harrison said. Recreational fires must be less than 3 feet in diameter, burn seasoned firewood or charcoal and be built in an approved fire enclosure.

Violating the burn restrictions could result in a $250 fine. Additionally, Harrison said anyone who sets a banned fire that gets out of control and requires a fire department response would be responsible for the firefighting costs and any damage the fire might cause.

“As you can imagine, that [cost] could be considerable,” Harrison said.

For more information on the restrictions, visit the county fire marshal's website