BURNING REGULATIONS AND INFORMATION
Different Types of Burn Bans
Fire Safety Burn Ban - The Snohomish County Fire Marshal is responsible for all fire
safety burn bans in unincorporated Snohomish County. These are usually issued in
response to hot and/or dry conditions.
Air Quality Burn Ban - The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) issues air quality
burn bans in response to poor air quality. Air quality burn bans are usually issued
during colder fall and winter months due to calm wind conditions. They can be issued
outside of the Snohomish County fire safety burn bans. For more information please
see the PSCAA burn ban page.
DNR Burn Ban - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses
burn restrictions as a tool to reduce human-caused wildfires during extremely hot and
dry weather conditions. When a burn restriction is in place, it prohibits outdoor fires on
all state, county, city, and private land under DNR fire protection, including all state
forests, DNR-managed forestlands and DNR campgrounds. For more information on
DNR burn bans, visit the DNR Burn Restrictions website. On this website, you can track
daily burn restrictions in each Washington county.
Call Before You Burn
Prior to any burning you we suggest you contact our Burning Information Line at 425-388-3508 to verify that there are no Burn Bans or Burning Limitations that may have been placed due to high fire danger or air quality conditions. For additional air quality information you can contact Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
Residential burning, a burn pile no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet by 3 feet, requires a permit
under our burn permit ordinance (PDF). Residential burning means the outdoor burning
of leaves, clippings, prunings, and other yard and gardening refuse originating on lands
immediately adjacent and in close proximity to a human dwelling and burned on such
lands by the property owner or his or her designee.
Recreational fires, no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet in size, do not require a permit.
By definition recreational fires are cooking fires, and campfires using charcoal or firewood
that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial
purposes. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires.
Burn Permits are required and issued by the Office of the Snohomish County Fire Marshal and participating local fire districts for residential burning. Permits will be issued for locations outside the Urban Growth Areas (UGA) that are outside of the established no-burn zones (PDF) and within fire protection districts of unincorporated Snohomish County.
Land Clearing Burning Prohibited
Since 2008, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has maintained a permanent ban on land clearing burning in Snohomish, Kitsap, King, and Pierce counties in accordance with WAC 173-425-040(5). Land clearing burning applied to fires to clear land for development, such as building a new structure or subdivision.
As more people move to remote areas wildfires (PDF) have become increasingly common
as that creates an environment where fire can move readily between structures and
vegetation. Emergency response can be difficult in these isolated and undeveloped
areas. There is no guarantee that firefighters will be able to save your home if a wildfire
occurs so it is imperative that property owners in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI)
understand the risks and prepare appropriately. For more information contact your local