A ban on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County is in place until further notice as dry conditions persist, according to the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The ban, which began at noon Thursday, Aug. 18, applies to all outdoor burning including yard debris fires, land-clearing fires and recreational fires.
Store-bought barbecues are still allowed, but coal or ash should be disposed of in a metal container and doused with water. The metal container should be kept 10 feet away from any buildings or trees for three days.
Fire pits and enclosures with grates are not considered barbecues and are also prohibited, the marshal’s office said.
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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.
The ban adds to a list of similar restrictions being announced both countywide and across the state.
A statewide burn ban by the state Department of Natural Resources prohibits burning on all state-managed forestlands. Washington State Parks also announced a ban on campfires in all state parks through Sept. 30.
Current burn ban information can be found at the Whatcom County Burn Information Line at 360-778-5903, or at the county’s website at www.whatcomcounty.us/807/Burn-Ban.