Burn ban lifted in unincorporated Whatcom County; some restrictions still remain

A burn ban for unincorporated areas of Whatcom County put in place last month will be lifted at noon on Friday, Sept. 9, county officials said, thanks to recent rains.

The burn ban, which had applied to all outdoor burning besides barbecues, went into effect about three weeks ago due to increasingly dry conditions.

Even with the ban lifted, some restrictions will still remain, and permits are still required for some outdoor fires. Verbal burn permits will be available at the county’s burn information line at 360-778-5903 as soon as the ban lifts at noon Friday, the county fire marshal’s office said. Written permits for fires larger than 4 square feet will be available at the planning and development services office beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, the fire marshal’s office said.

A permanent ban on open burning will remain in Bellingham, Birch Bay, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Kendall, Lynden, Nooksack, Sumas and the Cherry Point area, according to the fire marshal’s office. More information on that ban can be found by calling the Northwest Clean Air Agency at 360-428-1617 or by going to the agency’s website at nwcleanair.gov.

Residents whose properties fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources can call 800-323-BURN for more information.

Violations of the ban can result in a minimum fine of $250, the marshal’s office said. Anyone who starts an illegal fire that escapes and spreads may have to cover the cost of a fire department response and could face criminal charges.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan