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Outdoor & residential burning

One of the ways we ensure air is healthy for communities is overseeing various types of outdoor burning. This includes land clearing, residential yard waste burning, and some fire training burns. Before you start burning, see if you need a permit, if the type of burning you want to do is allowed in your area, or if there is a burn ban in place.

Children playing on haystacks with blue skies.

We work to ensure communities have clean air to breathe.

Where you live determines what you can burn

Whether or not outdoor burning is legal is determined by the location of your residence or business. Check to see if you are in an urban growth area and for burn bans before you burn.

Burning in urban growth areas

If you live in an urban growth area, all burning other than recreational and tumbleweed burning is illegal.

Allowed burning includes:

  • Barbecues. Burn only briquettes, propane, or dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Campfires. (size limit 3 x 2 feet). Burn only dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Burning tumbleweed. In communities over 250,000 a permit may be required, check with your local clean air agency.

Burning outside of urban growth areas

Required burning permits

The type of burning you are planning and the location of the burn will determine whether or not you need a permit. Review the information below to determine if you need a permit.
Agricultural burn permit Fire training permit Land clearing permit Residential Silvicultural burning Special burn permit

What's illegal to burn

It's important to verify that what you want to burn is legal before you begin burning. You can be fined up to $10,000 per day for illegal burning. 

Burning any type of garbage or construction debris is not allowed. This includes: 

  • Paper, cardboard and junk mail
  • Construction debris, lumber and treated wood
  • Rubber
  • Metal
  • Plastics and petroleum products
  • Dead animals
  • Asphalt
  • Any substance that emits toxins or bad odors when burned

Using burn barrels is illegal

The fires in burn barrels receive little oxygen and create toxic smoke that stays low to the ground. Burn barrels are illegal statewide.

Report illegal burning

If you are having trouble breathing or if smoke from an outdoor burn is getting into your house, call 911 for immediate help or report illegal burning.
For other questions contact:

County Phone Email
Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, and Okanogan counties 509-575-2490 agburnteamcro@ecy.wa.gov
Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties 509-329-3400 agburnteamero@ecy.wa.gov
San Juan County 425-649-7267 david.adler@ecy.wa.gov
Benton, Spokane, Yakima, and all other Western Washington counties Contact your local clean air agency Contact your local clean air agency