Planning and Development Services - Burn Ban Information

Posted on: September 15, 2023

Fire Marshal Burn Ban Reduction Press Release

Whatcom County Fire Marshal Badge

Whatcom County – Due to the increase in fuel moisture levels and recent rain, the Fire Marshal’s Office will begin to allow recreational fires again.  The modified burning restrictions will be in effect beginning at 4 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023 for the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County.  All other outdoor burning is still banned, including yard debris and land clearing fires! 

 For current outdoor burning information please call (360) 778-5903 or visit our website at:  The requirements for a recreational fire and updated outdoor burning information are available on this line.

 Also, check with state and federal agencies regarding bans in those areas prior to burning.  If your property falls under the jurisdiction and protection of the Department of Natural Resources, please call 1-800-323-BURN for burn permit information. 

 Please remember as outdoor burning restrictions are reduced: 

  • Recreational fire requirements:
    • Up to 3 feet by 3 feet of seasoned firewood or charcoal only
    • Must have enclosure 16 inches high, made of steel or masonry / rockery
    • 25 feet from structures, timber, and combustible material
    • 15 feet of overhead clearance required
    • Garden hose or (2) 5-gallon buckets of water at fire
    • Hand tools required onsite
    • Allowed after dark if attended until fire is out cold
    • No burning when winds exceed 7 MPH
  • Please use extreme caution! While the fire danger has decreased, vegetation has not fully recovered, and still presents the need for caution while enjoying a campfire. 
  • Violations of these burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250.00 fine.        In addition, if you have an illegal fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially responsible for fire suppression costs and may be criminally charged for Reckless Burning.

 If you have any questions about open burning in Whatcom County that were not answered by the Burning Information Line, please contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 778-5900.

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