Okanogan County Commissioners set date for implementing burn restrictions/ban

Implementation based on recommendation from Okanogan County Fire Advisory Board

OKANOGAN – The Okanogan County Fire Advisory Committee has made a recommendation to the county commissioners on implementing a burn restriction or burn ban from June 15 to Oct. 15, 2024, but the order may be implemented earlier if necessary or extended due to conditions.

The Fire Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the Okanogan County Commissioners, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Okanogan County Emergency Management, fire chiefs, the U.S. Forest Service and the sheriff’s office. When a burn restriction/ban is in place it will be posted on the Emergency Management webpage at: www.okanogancounty.org/government/emergency_management.

Okanogan County uses a two-step system for restricting outdoor burning. The first is a burn

restriction allowing recreational fires and no other outdoor burning. The second is when High Fire Conditions become present a County-Wide Burn Ban will be implemented, prohibiting all outdoor burning including recreational fires and the use of charcoal.

The Burn Restriction prohibits all field/pile/rubbish/rule/slash/yard vegetation and nonemergent agricultural burning on private lands within the unincorporated areas of Okanogan County, reducing the risk of wildfires.

Recreational fires are allowed during a burn restriction if used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes and the fuel being burned is other than rubbish. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires. See Recreational Fire definition below.

The Burn Ban is implemented when high fire conditions exist and when rescinded will revert to a Burn Restriction. The Burn Ban prohibits all outdoor burning of combustible materials which may include, but are not limited to, yard vegetation or waste, non-emergency agricultural burning, exploding gun targets and bullet tracer rounds.

Propane fire pits are allowed during a burn ban. Propane flames cannot be larger than three feet wide and two feet in height and are not burned within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. (DNR burning restrictions may apply to private property, if assessed a DNR Fire Control tax. This can be found on the county tax statement).

Recreational Fire Definition:

Recreational fires shall be contained in a concrete, rock, or steel ring (made from noncombustible material), no larger than three feet in diameter and no less than eight inches in height. The fire (flames) shall be no higher than two feet and not conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Recreational fires shall be attended to at all times.