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It’s rained. It’s cooler. Can we have campfires already?

Recreational fires will be allowed in Bellingham and unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Recreational fires will be allowed in Bellingham and unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Recent cooler weather and rain has prompted Bellingham, Whatcom County and State Parks officials to ease their bans on recreational fires.

Fire danger has decreased from very high to moderate, according to a post on the Bellingham Fire Department’s Facebook page.

Campfires will be allowed in approved fire pits in state park campgrounds starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Recreational fires will be allowed in Bellingham and unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

All other outdoor burning remains banned, including yard debris and land-clearing fires.

Nearly a half-inch of rain has been recorded at Bellingham International Airport since Sept. 9 – more than all the rain that fell from June 18 to Sept. 8, according to the National Weather Service.

According to a statement from the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office, recreational fires are allowed with these precautions: up to 3 feet by 3 feet of seasoned firewood or charcoal; enclosure must be 16 inches high and made of steel or masonry/rockery; 25 feet from structures, timber, and combustible material; 15 feet of overhead clearance; garden hose or two 5-gallon buckets of water; hand tools such as shovels; allowed after dark if attended; no burning when winds exceed 7 mph.

Permission from the landowner, or owner’s designated representative, must be obtained prior to starting a recreational fire within Bellingham city limits. One 4-A rated portable fire extinguisher meets the city’s requirements for fire protection at a recreational fire.

For information, contact the Bellingham Fire Department at 360-778-8420 or the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-778-5903.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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