Outdoor burn bans
Fire Safety Burn Bans
The King County Fire Marshal issues these bans for unincorporated King County in response to hot and/or dry conditions, in coordination with King County cities and other county and state agencies.
In unincorporated King County, burning to clear residential land and burning yard debris are allowed only when no fire safety burn ban has been issued. A burn permit from your local fire district may be required.
Stage 1 Fire Safety Burn Ban
OK to burn:
*May require permit – contact your local fire district
Learn more about recreational fires below.
Definition:Campfires or those in backyard fire pits, using approved firewood for outdoor recreation, ceremonial uses, or cooking.
- Firewood must be seasoned and dry.
- The fire must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, like those typically found in campgrounds.
- The fire must not be used to dispose of debris.
- The fire must grow no larger than three feet wide.
- The fire must be in a clear spot, at least 10 feet away from all vegetation.
- Overhanging branches must be at least 20 feet above the flames.
- The fire must be at least 25 feet away from any structure.
- The fire must always be attended by an alert person with equipment that can put out the fire (such as a shovel and a five-gallon bucket of water, or a connected and charged water hose).
- After use, campfires must be completely extinguished by pouring water or moist soil over them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.
- No burning is allowed when the wind speed is greater than 15 miles per hour.
- If smoke or ash from the fire causes a nuisance to any neighbors, the fire must be extinguished.
Stage 2 Fire Safety Burn Ban
Issued when fire danger is critically high
OK to use:
Manufactured portable outdoor devices* like…
- Gas and charcoal grills
- Natural gas or propane appliances like patio warmers
- Wood pellet smokers
*Follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
Remember to carefully dispose of charcoal remains when done—douse thoroughly with water and wait several hours before removing for disposal
When there is no burn ban
Restrictions still apply to burning in unincorporated parts of King County, even when no fire burn ban has been issued.
- Burning is restricted to property outside the urban growth boundary.
- Fires to burn vegetation on residential property may only burn vegetation from the same property, and the fire can be no larger than 4x4x3 feet.
- Contact your local fire department to see if you need a burning permit for your fire. (Recreational fires are exempt.)
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulations still apply for the regulation to limit environmental, health, and pollution problems.
- Air quality burn bans may be issued even though there is no fire danger burn ban.
- Burning to clear land for development (i.e., building a new structure or subdivision), is prohibited.
- Burning garbage, paper, or other trash is strictly prohibited at all times.
Air Quality Burn Bans
- Issued and enforced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
- When pollution reaches unhealthy levels
- Usually during colder fall and winter months
- Or during summer if there is wildfire smoke
For current Air Quality burn ban status, visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website or call 1-800-595-4341.
Look up your local fire district
Enter your address in King County’s Parcel Viewer. A box will appear with your parcel number and other information about your property. Click on “Districts Report” and look under “King County Electoral districts” for “Fire district.”
Department of Local Services, Permitting Division
919 SW Grady Way, Suite 300
Renton, WA 98057
Most of our staff members are working remotely. Most permitting services are available on this website and MyBuildingPermit.com. Beginning June 23, 2022, some in-person services will be available in our Renton office. For details, see our Customer Service Bulletin.
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To reach customer service, call 206-296-6600 during the following hours: 9-11 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.