Guidelines for Burning in the Okanogan

Introduction

This page contains excerpts from various agencies who regulate outdoor burning. Reference links are provided to each resource. This page is not authoritative – consult the agency pages for first-hand information.

Okanogan Burn Ban Information
Burn Ban Announcements

What’s illegal to burn

It’s important to verify that what you want to burn is legal before you begin burning. You can be fined up to $10,000 per day for illegal burning.

Burning any type of garbage or construction debris is not allowed. This includes:

  • Paper, cardboard and junk mail
  • Construction debris, lumber and treated wood
  • Rubber
  • Metal
  • Plastics and petroleum products
  • Dead animals
  • Asphalt
  • Any substance that emits toxins or bad odors when burned

Using burn barrels is illegal

The fires in burn barrels receive little oxygen and create toxic smoke that stays low to the ground. Burn barrels are illegal statewide.

Report illegal burning

If you are having trouble breathing or if smoke from an outdoor burn is getting into your house, call 911 for immediate help or report illegal burning.

Burning in urban growth areas

If you live in an urban growth area, all burning other than recreational and tumbleweed burning is illegal.

Allowed burning includes:

  • Barbecues. Burn only briquettes, propane, or dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Campfires. Size limit 3 x 3 x 2 feet. Burn only dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Burning tumbleweed. In communities over 250,000 a permit may be required, check with your local clean air agency.
  • Permitted agriculture burning.

Residential

Burning household yard waste (such as leaves, grass, brush, and other yard trimmings) is illegal in all urban growth areas. For more information, contact the local clean air agency for your county. Find out what you can do instead of burning.

Burning outside of urban growth areas

If you live outside an urban growth area, you may have limited burning.

Allowed burning includes:

  • Barbecues. Burn only briquettes, propane, or dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Campfires. Size limit 3 x 3 x 2 feet. Burn only dry, seasoned firewood.
  • Dry yard and garden waste. Size limit is 4x 4 x 3 feet. Burn only natural unprocessed vegetation.

You must:

  • Get permission from your local fire district before you burn.
  • Keep the fire 50 feet away from any structure.
  • Attend the fire at all times.
  • Have a source to extinguish the fire nearby.
  • Ensure your smoke doesn’t affect your neighbors.

Map of urban growth areas in Washington State

Burn Ban Definitions

Stage 1 Burn Ban

During a Stage 1 Ban,

  1. no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves.
  2. all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned.
  3. no visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.

Stage 2 Burn Ban

During a Stage 2 burn ban,

  1. no burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.
  2. no outdoor fires of any kind are allowed. This includes recreational fires as well as the use of backyard fire kettles, chimineas or fire pits.
    burn ban violations are subject to a monetary penalty.
  3. During a Stage 2 ban, residents may use natural gas and propane appliances.