King County issues outdoor fire safety burn ban for unincorporated areas

Fire marshal says dry conditions make area ripe for fires

The King County Fire Marshal has issued a Stage 1 fire safety burn ban effective July 1.

The burn ban applies to unincorporated areas of the county. Residents of cities should contact their local jurisdiction to find out if there is a burn ban in their area. Kent city code already bans outdoor burning.

“Although we might see some showers this week, these past months we have seen unusually dry and warm weather making conditions ripe for fires,” said Chris Ricketts, King County Fire marshal, in a news release Monday. “As trees, underbrush, and grassy fields dry out, they can become a threat to nearby homes. We need to minimize risks as we head into fire season.”

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

• All outdoor burning is prohibited, except for recreational fires in approved devices and locations

• All burning permits are suspended until further notice and no additional permits will be issued in the unincorporated areas of King County

• Recreational fires must be in a designated fire pit using only charcoal or dry firewood (no milled lumber)

While the burn ban is in effect, fireworks bought at legal retailers may still be discharged in unincorporated King County on Thursday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight. King County fire officials encourage residents to consider attending a professional fireworks display as an alternative.

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Burning rules in Kent

Puget Sound Fire, which serves the city of Kent, offers the following information about outdoor burning:

• What you need to know

Outdoor burning is not allowed within the cities of Kent, SeaTac, Covington, and in some areas of unincorporated King County. Outdoor burning locations are mandated by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

• Recreational fires

Within the city limits of Kent, SeaTac, and Covington, as well as unincorporated King County (Fire District #37), recreational fires are allowed on your own private property and in designated locations in some public parks.

Recreational burning means cooking fires and campfires using only charcoal briquets or dry-seasoned firewood. Fires in chimineas, fire pits, and similar free-standing devices fall under this classification.

The location of open burning shall not be any less than 50 feet from structures.

• Exceptions

Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.

The minimum distance from a structure shall be 25-feet where the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet in height.

Always have equipment on hand to control the fire, such as water, hose, buckets, shovel, etc.