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Outdoor Burning Rules

May 25, 2011

In Fire District 9, different types of outdoor burning are regulated by three different agencies, each with slightly different goals.  Fire districts enforce fire safety regulations on recreational fires (camping and cooking fires) regarding fire size, location and attendance.  Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates fire as a tool to manage timber resources and issues permits for burning timber slash.  Spokane Regional Clean Air regulates air quality and used to permit burning of yard and garden waste.

In the past, yard and garden waste could be burned for disposal over specified weekends in the spring and fall.  Spokane Regional Clean Air has shut down those burning weekends however.  That agency does not issue permits for any burning of yard and garden waste anywhere in Spokane County.  Violation of this ban can result in fines from Spokane Regional Clean Air.  Disposal of yard and garden waste can be accomplished by composting or transporting it to a regional disposal site (the nearest is 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road).

DNR issues permits for burning timber slash from the unimproved portion of timbered private property.  DNR regulations require careful observance of fire safety and weather conditions for slash burning.  DNR permits can be secured by calling 509-684-7474 or you can go to http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/FireBurningRegulations/Pages/rp_burn_fireburnfuelmgt.aspx on the Internet for more information.

Fire District 9 does not require a permit for a recreational fire but homeowners must follow fire code regulations to ensure a recreational fire is safe.  A list of those regulations is available on the Internet at http://www.scfd9.org/RecFires.pdf.  Furthermore, Spokane County does establish burn restrictions during fire season.  Those restrictions are advertised in the newspaper and on TV news.  For more information, give us a call at 466-4602, or e-mail dbleeker@scfd9.org, or leave a comment on this blog.

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