Burning restrictions in Clallam, Jefferson counties to begin July 1

Modified rules will extend until Oct. 1

PORT ANGELES — Both Clallam and Jefferson counties will have annual burn restrictions in place from July 1 until Oct. 1.

Both county’s restrictions limit the size of outdoor recreational fires down from 10 feet in diameter to 3 feet, and they limit them to 2 feet in height.

The restrictions apply to fires outside of a barbecue grill, fireplace or a different method of containment.

Recreational fires are defined in the International Fire Code Section 307.1. The summer ban started in 2005.

Annette Warren, a fire marshal for Clallam County Fire District 2, described it as a “safe measure that everyone could understand and easily follow.”

Burn bans can be declared by the state for Clallam and Jefferson counties due to fire danger. Both counties are under the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), which recommends when to ban fires due to air quality, according to the state Department of Ecology.

Individual cities can declare a burn ban for their respective areas, Warren said.

July normally has a low to moderate risk of fire, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Warren said August and September normally pose the biggest risk. The ban may be increased any time throughout the summer due to weather. That could include a ban on all fires or just those not contained by an approved container.

There are two different levels to burn bans in the state. Stage one bans all fires outdoors, in fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves, according to ORCAA. Stage two bans all fires unless it is the only source of adequate heat.

The summer ban currently prohibits all land-clearing burns, but it still allows for recreational fires under the revised guidelines, Jefferson County Fire Marshal Brian Tracer said.

Fires used to dispose of debris or rubbish are not considered recreational and are illegal in the state, Tracer said.

When the weather is extremely dry, a declaration of extreme fire danger can be made. That causes the sale, transfer, discharge, ignition or explosion of fireworks to be prohibited in unincorporated Jefferson County, Tracer said.

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Reporter Zachary Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].

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