Is it okay to burn?
Residential burning is allowed by permit only. Permits are issued at the Enumclaw Fire Administration Building (2884 Griffin Ave Suite A), or can be obtained online . Burn permits are valid for one (1) year from the date of issue and are not extendable. Upon expiration, the permit holder or designee must be issued a new permit prior to burning. Burn permits are not sold during a burn ban (July 1st-September 30th).
Enumclaw Fire Department appreciates the public’s cooperation with burn bans.
Prior to igniting a fire, citizens are required to check the current burn ban status with both King County Fire Marshal Office and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Both online links can be found below.
-King County Fire Marshal Office (Fire-Safety Burn Ban Status)
-Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (Air Quality Burn Ban Status).
Air quality conditions and air quality forecasts can change quickly in the Puget Sound. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has created a convenient flyer that outlines the health risks of breathing smoke and what is banned during an air quality burn ban, which can be downloaded by clicking here. Additionally, citizens can sign up on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website to receive alerts when an Air Quality Burning Ban is issued or lifted by visiting their Burn Ban Alerts Page.
The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).
Residential vs Recreational Burning
Recreational Burning – No Permit Needed
Recreational burning fires are allowed within Enumclaw Fire District. They are defined as, “Cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires that occur in designated areas, or on private property, for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes”. The following conditions must be met:
- Must be contained in a pit constructed of steel, masonry, or concrete material.
- The bottom may be of sand, gravel, or mineral earth.
- Does not require a spark arrestor.
- Maximum fuel size is 3 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet.
- Must be at least 10 feet away from property lines.
- Must be located 25 feet away from any structure (including decks or any other combustible material).
- Only allowed to burn dried cord wood, presto logs, or charcoal.
- Outdoor propane/Gas Fire Pits are allowed.
Residential Burning – Permit Required
- Permit Fee: $30/year (Age 60+ $15/year)
- Payment Types: Check/Money Order/Credit Card
Residential outdoor burning in the designated burn areas of Enumclaw Fire Department will remain legal for the foreseeable future. This type of burning is done by residents who have sufficient clear property to burn legally. Residents can burn natural vegetation that comes from their property, such as branches, leaves, clippings, etc.
Residential burning is allowed by permit only. Residential burning is only allowed within certain portions of Enumclaw Fire District. Click here to see if your residence is located in an area where residential burning is permitted. Due to city ordinance, residential burning is not allowed within the city limits of Enumclaw.
Residential Burning Permit
Permits are available to purchase online. Burn permits are valid for one (1) year from the date of issue and are not extendable. Upon expiration, the permit holder or designee must be issued a new permit prior to burning.
- Burning is only allowed during daylight hours.
- A water source is required to be on site at all times.
- Natural vegetation is the only material allowed to be burned.
- Only one pile is allowed to be burned at a time.
- The maximum pile dimensions are 10 feet wide and 4 feet in height.
- Burn piles are required to be a minimum of 10 feet away from property lines.
- Burn piles are required to be 50 feet away from any structures.
- Burn piles must be extinguished whenever there is a storm that results in east winds.
- A copy of the permit must be kept onsite at all times.
- Burning processed lumber of any type is prohibited.
- Burning garbage is prohibited.
- Burning “green” or wet debris is prohibited.
- Burning tree limbs larger than 4” (inches) in diameter is prohibited.
- Burning stumps is prohibited.
- Burning materials hauled in from another site is prohibited (other than fire wood).
- Burn barrels are prohibited.
Tips for Best Burning Practices
- CHECK BEFORE YOU BURN: Although many of the days during the designated burning months will be “Burn Days”, impaired air quality or fire danger may necessitate a burn ban.
- PILE THE DEBRIS: Piling the debris creates a chimney effect during burning and preheats the debris. Hot fires and dry fuel produces less smoke. Remove as much dirt a possible from the debris as you pile it. Dirt in the pile prevents the fire from burning hot and efficiently.
- BURN DRY DEBRIS: For best results and a cleaner fire, burn when your debris is dry. Cover piles with tree boughs, paper or plastic to keep the debris dry until you are ready to burn. Be sure to remove the paper or plastic prior to burning.
- GIVE IT AIR: Directing a fan or leaf blower into your fire will help it burn hotter, with less smoke. Plus, you have the added bonus of getting the pile burned in half the time.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEATHER FOR BURNING: Cloudy days usually have light winds and are the best days to burn. Because air tends to be unstable, there is generally enough air movement on cloudy days to disperse the smoke and avoid causing nuisance smoke. Do not burn when the wind is blowing the smoke towards your neighbor’s homes. Do not burn if there is, or a forecast calls for, thunderstorms, showers, or weather fronts.
- START THE FIRE AT MIDDAY OR IN EARLY AFTERNOON: Avoid burning when it is foggy. Fog is a sign of stable air that will not disperse the smoke into the atmosphere. If you must burn on clear days start the fire in the afternoon. There is often not enough air movement on clear days to disperse the smoke from your fires.
- FINISH BURNING BEFORE NIGHTTIME: As temperatures begin to cool later in the day, the air tends to sink. This carries the smoke from your fire down into valleys and low areas. Smoke from your fire may be trapped near the ground during the night and early morning when cool air pools near the ground. This is called an inversion (cool air beneath warm air). Plan to have your burning completed before inversions create a smoke nuisance for your neighbors.
Clean & Efficient Burning = No Nuisance Smoke
Land-clearing burning is defined as 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)]
Land-clearing burning is prohibited in King County since July, 2008.
Response to Burning Complaints
If you have a burning complaint which presents hazard to persons or property, please dial 9-1-1 to report the burning.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is the regulatory authority for smoke and clean air issues. If you wish to report a complaint regarding burning that is causing excess smoke or clean air issues, please contact Puget Sound Clean Air Agency either online via the Air Quality Complaint Center, or via phone at 1-800-552-3565, ext. 6.
The phone number is a recorded line with a monitored voicemail box where you can leave a message and receive a call back.
For the most prompt response, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency recommends using the online Air Quality Complaint Center.