Outdoor Burning Regulations

Saturday September 30, 2023

burn ban is in place for all of Grays Harbor county

The following does not apply to burning within the limits of any city. It does not apply to lands “under the protection of” the state
Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which are “all lands subject to the forest protection assessment under RCW 76.04.610 (such lands include any parcel of at least .01 acre with trees thereon a property tax statement will indicate whether the parcel to be burned upon. These rules do not apply to DNR lands is subject to such assessment). Permits for burning on such lands are issued by the DNR Central Region office, 800-527-3305. Outdoor burning is regulated pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 70.94 RCW and the rules promulgated thereto and contained in Chapter 173-425 WAC.

Residential Burning

Recreational fires: “Means cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.” [WAC 173-425-030 (21)]

Recreational Burning: No permit is required for recreational burning. [WAC 173-425-060(2) 6) Recreational burning is permitted if conducted in the following manner:
• In a fire pit no greater than 4ft by 4ft in diameter and constructed of a ring of metal, stone, or brick 8-inches above ground surface, with a 2-foot wide area cleared down to exposed soil surrounding the outside of the pit.
• The pit must have an area at least 10-feet around it cleared of all flammable material or fuels, with at least 20-feet of clearance from overhead flammable materials or fuels.
• Recreational burning must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16-years old with the ability to extinguish the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged water house. All recreational burning shall be completely extinguished by pouring water or moist soil on the fire, and then stirring the fire with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.

Land Clearing Burning

Land Clearing Burning: A written permit is required from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, 800-422-5623. [WAC 173-425-060(2)(b)]

Hauled Materials:

“No outdoor fire may contain material (other than firewood) that has been hauled from an area where outdoor burning of material is prohibited under WAC 173-425-040.” WAC 173-425. 050(2)] Since outdoor burning is, as of January 1, 2001, prohibited within Aberdeen, and Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, materials may not be hauled from those cities for burning in unincorporated areas of Grays Harbor County.

Conditions for burning

The following conditions apply to all residential burning without a permit under WAC 173-425-060(5)(c)

  • The person responsible for the fire must ascertain the burning conditions of each day.
  • A fire may not be ignited and must be extinguished if an air pollution episode, impaired air quality conditions, or fire danger burn ban that applies to the burning is declared for the area.
  • The fire must contain only “natural vegetation” and may contain only enough paper to ignite the fire.
  • The fire must not include materials hauled from another property.
  • If emissions from the fire are detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of any person, cause damage to property or business; or cause a nuisance; the fire must be extinguished immediately.
  • Aperson capable of extinguishing the fire must attend it at all times, and the fire must be extinguished before leaving it.
  • No fires are to be within 50 feet of structures. 
  • The property owner or the owner’s designated representative must approve burning, before burning is commmenced.
  • No burn pile shall be larger than 4ft long by 4ft wide by 4ft high.
  • Only one pile at a time may be burned, and each pile must be extinguished before lighting another.
  • If an outdoor container is used for burning, it must be constructed of concrete or masonry with a completely enclosed combustion chamber and equipped with a permanently attached spark arrestor constructed of iron, heavy wire mesh, or other noncombustible material with openings not larger than 1/2 inch.
  • No fire is permitted within 500ft of forest slash.

Considerations for burning


Burning, of any material produces emissions that are harmful to human health. Such emissions are particularly harmful to those with respiratory illnesses, to which the elderly and children are often more susceptible.

Please exercise basic consideration for others when you burn.

Fire Danger: 

Please exercise basic common sense in assessing the fire danger before you begin burning. Call DNR at 800-527-3305 to dertermine the level of fire danger.


Call the Fire Marshal at 360-249-5579 if you have any questions.