The King County Fire Marshal has lifted a Phase 1 burn ban as of Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 8 a.m. in conjunction with King County Fire Chiefs' Association.
A burn ban was activated for unincorporated King County in July and applied to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved camp grounds or private property with the owner's permission.
This year's prolonged dry weather prompted the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to extend a ban on all outdoor burning into October; it was lifted late last week with the first substantial rainfall of the season.
With the removal of the county burn ban, burning of yard vegetation with a permit is now OK, but Mountain View Fire and Rescue (KCFD No. 44) Chief Greg Smith still advises residents check with their local fire department prior to these activities.
And at no time are yard vegetation waste fires permitted inside of the city limits of any city in King County. All open fires should always be attended and completely extinguished when done, Smith advised.
Fines for illegal burns typically start at $2,000 plus the cost to reimburse the fire department for its response efforts, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency which sets all requirements for outdoor burning.
To avoid risking those fines or smoking out your neighbors, the agency also provides information for citizens looking for alternatives to burning.
One way to minimize the smoking is to avoid burning wet debris. Enumclaw/Fire District No. 28 Fire Chief Joe Clow, said after January's winter storms which created a lot of storm debris for residents, said that people who do would have to stack the debris, tarp it and let it dry before it can be burned later. This has to be done in accordance with residential burn permit conditions including that the fire can only burn during daylight hours and the maximum size of the burn pile cannot exceed 10 feet in diameter and four feet in height.
To contact Enumclaw Fire, call the burn hotline at 360-615-5670.
To contact Mountain View Fire and Rescue, which also services the city of Black Diamond, call their burn hotline at 253-735-0286.
For more information on local fire restrictions, the public can call 1-800-323-BURN or visit the King County Fire Marshal Services website at: