Burn Permit Rules

Determining Legal Burning Areas

If you would like to burn, follow these steps to start the permit process:
  • Check the Whatcom County Burn Map (PDF) to determine if your property is located in an area that allows open burning. Due to air pollution regulations open burning is prohibited in all cities and all urban growth areas (except recreational fires.)
  • Determine if you can burn the material you want to burn. Air pollution regulations prohibit burning any of the following: garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paints, rubber products, plastics, paper (other than enough to start a fire), cardboard, treated wood, construction or demolition debris (including untreated milled lumber), metal, or any substance other than natural vegetation.
  • Written Burn permits application received at Planning and Development Service are reviewed by Natural Resource staff prior to issuance.
  • Do you live in Point Roberts, on Lummi Island or at Sandy Point? In these areas burn permits may be obtained by contacting your local fire district.
    • Whatcom County Fire District 5 provides permits for Point Roberts, you can contact them by calling 360-945-3473.
    • Whatcom County Fire District 11 provides permits for Lummi Island, you can contact them by calling 360-758-2411.
    • Whatcom County Fire District 17 provides permits for Sandy Point, you can contact them by calling 360-384-1480.
  • Review the Northwest Clean Air Agency's Outdoor Burning Permit Information for requirements on outdoor burning.
  • Along with Whatcom County Fire Marshall's Office, Fire District 5, and Fire District 11, the other agencies that issue burn permits are:
    • Department of Natural Resources
    • Lummi Nation
    • Northwest Clean Air Agency
    • U.S. Forest Service
    • U.S. Park Service.

Prohibited Area

If you are in an area where outdoor burning is prohibited, or a burn ban is in effect, please visit the Yard Waste Disposal Options page to see alternatives to land-clearing and yard waste burning.

Legal Area

Once you have determined you are in an area where the Fire Marshal’s Office issues permits and the material you want to burn is legal, you can apply for one of the following types of burn permits: