Outdoor Burning in West Pierce
Recreational fires can provide enjoyment for many, yet create frustration for others. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulates burn bans in our area to ensure the health and safety of its residents. When burn bans are not in place, recreational fires are allowed within West Pierce Fire & Rescue’s jurisdiction.
Recreational fires are not the same as burning yard waste and land-clearing debris. They are defined as “cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.” (WAC 173-425-030)
This also includes fires lit in chimineas, fire pits, fire bowls, and similar free-standing devices, except burn barrels. These devices can be found at most home improvement stores. Please remember that it is always illegal to burn trash or use a burn barrel.
- It is always illegal to smoke out your neighbor. If smoke bothers your neighbors or otherwise becomes a nuisance, you must immediately put it out.
- Burning of trash and/or yard debris is not allowed.
- The use of a burn barrel is prohibited.
- Be aware of current burn bans. Burn ban information can be found at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website: www.pscleanair.org.
Safety Tips to Consider
- West Pierce Fire & Rescue asks that you consider these safety tips when using a recreational fire of any kind.
- Fires shall not exceed three feet in diameter or two feet in height.
- Recreational fires need to be at least 25 feet from anything that can burn.
- Only charcoal, dried firewood, or manufactured fire logs may be used. Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids in a recreational fire.
- Avoid burning on windy, dry days. With these conditions, it is easy for outdoor burning to quickly spread out of control.
- Do not leave fires unattended at any time. Have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt nearby to extinguish the fire fully before leaving the area.
- An adult should always be present and supervise children around any fire, including campfires, fire pits, chimineas, and outdoor fireplaces.
- Keep children at least three feet away from any fire to ensure their safety.
- Chimineas should not be placed on a deck or other combustible surface. Bricks or cement create a steady surface for the chiminea to rest and decreases the risk of an unwanted fire.
- Be sure any recreational fire is not under an overhead structure. Be sure low hanging branches are cleared from nearby trees.
Burn bans in Pierce County are placed into effect by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, as needed, for the safety and well-being of its residents. Before having a recreational fire, please take into consideration the current burn ban status.
What do burn bans mean?
Stage 1 Burn Ban
Burning is not allowed in:
- Uncertified wood stoves or inserts
- Outdoor burning of any kind
Burning is only allowed in EPA certified wood stoves, pellet stoves, and inserts.
Stage 2 Burn Ban
No wood burning is allowed, including pellet stoves and EPA certified devices. No outdoor burning is allowed.
Up to date information may be found at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website: www.pscleanair.org. To receive alerts about when burn bans are announced, please text PIERCEBURN to 313131. Email alerts are also available.
Sign up for Pierce County ALERT to receive emergency notifications about pertinent information in your area.
For more information and safety tips, please visit:
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
For alternative methods to burning in Pierce County, please visit:
For a printable copy of this information, please download our Outdoor Burning Regulations brochure.