Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

Don’t get burned by the law

Outdoor fires are banned in most areas

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency enforces state outdoor burning regulations in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, as follows below:

If you live in an urbanized area (incorporated cities, suburbs and adjacent areas):

If you live in an unincorporated area:

  • All land-clearing fires are prohibited in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

  • Contact your local fire district to find out if residential outdoor fires are allowed and about permit and other local requirements.

  • Fires are never permitted during air quality or fire safety burn bans.

Don’t get burned!

Fines for illegal fires typically start at $2,000 plus the cost to reimburse the fire department for its response efforts. Spare the air – and your wallet – and consider one of these alternatives instead.

In addition to local restrictions, the following state regulations apply to every outdoor fire:

  • Stay clear of structures. Check with your local fire department regarding setback requirements.

  • Fuel it right. 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, metal, or any substance (other than natural vegetation) that normally releases toxic emissions, dense smoke, or obnoxious odors when burned.

  • Stand guard and extinguish. A person capable of extinguishing the fire must attend it at all times, and the fire must be extinguished before leaving it.

  • Mind the ban. Outdoor fires are always prohibited during air-quality burn bans. They may also be prohibited during a fire-safety burn ban (check with your local fire district).

  • Abandon the barrel. The use of burn barrels to burn anything is illegal throughout the state (WAC 173-425-050(5)).

  • Be a good neighbor. It is always illegal to smoke out your neighbor. If smoke from your fire bothers your neighbors, damages their property or otherwise causes a nuisance, you must immediately put it out.

To report an illegal outdoor fire, contact your local fire district directly or call 9-1-1 and indicate you have a non-emergency.

For more information, see the Washington Administrative Code Section 173-425-050.

Remember: It is ALWAYS illegal to burn trash.