Permanent ban on land-clearing burning in Kitsap County effective Sept. 1, 2009.
Effective Sept. 1, 2009, land-clearing burning will no longer be allowed in Kitsap County.
This permanent ban, brought about by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, was adopted by the agency’s Board of Directors on April 23, 2009, following a public workshop, public comment period and public hearing. Prior to this action, land-clearing fires were prohibited only in the urbanized areas of Kitsap County.
The Clean Air Agency Board took similar action last February 2008 by adopting a permanent ban on land-clearing burning in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties which became effective July 1, 2008.
What is affected by this ban?
Any land-clearing fires in Kitsap County. "Land clearing burning" means outdoor burning of trees, stumps, shrubbery, or other natural vegetation from land clearing projects (i.e., projects that clear the land surface so it can be developed, used for a different purpose, or left unused). [WAC 173-425-030 (9)]
This restriction is in addition to the existing ban on outdoor burning in urban growth areas and no-burn zones.
Who is affected by this ban?
- Any person clearing land for the purpose of changing its use,
which may include:
- Commercial property developers
- Residential property owners clearing land for building
- Contractors who clear and grade land
What is not affected by this ban?
- Silvicultural fires (forestry)
- Agricultural burning (commercial farms)
- Recreational fires (campfires)
- Residential burning in rural areas*
- Fire department training fires
- Emergency burning of flood and storm debris
*Check with your local fire district to find out if residential fires are allowed in your area and about permit and other local requirements.
Why this change?
State law requires the phase out of outdoor burning when alternatives are available because:
- Wood smoke is a health hazard. For more information, visit:
State law [RCW 70.94.745(6)] requires the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to prohibit land-clearing burning in areas outside the Urban Growth Areas when the agency has determined that an alternate technology or method of disposing of the organic refuse is available, reasonably economical, and less harmful to the environment than burning. Agency staff found that reasonable alternatives to land-clearing burning are now available so proposed to its Board of Directors that Kitsap County be included in this permanent ban on land-clearing burning.
Wood smoke is a health hazard. Wood smoke is composed of fine particles and a toxic mix of other carcinogens that are hazardous to human health. Fine particles are associated with serious health effects, as the tiny size of these pollutants allows them to be easily inhaled, bypassing the immune system and proceeding deep into your lungs, where they can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems, including premature death.
What alternatives are available?
- On-site chipping and removal (tree services)
- Off-site wood waste recycling
- List of recyclers (PDF, 0.1MB)
- Kitsap County Solid Waste
What happens if I ignore the ban?
Prohibited land-clearing burning may result in enforcement action by the Puget Sound Clean Agency and imposition of significant fines.
How do I report an illegal, land-clearing fire?
Call 9-1-1, and indicate this is a non-emergency. Your local fire district will respond and may refer the case on to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for investigation and enforcement.
How do I find out more information?
For more information about the alternatives to outdoor burning,
impacts from wood smoke and the law, click to Outdoor