Clallam, Jefferson counties start burn restrictions

Land-clearing fires banned until October

Annual summer burn restrictions on the North Olympic Peninsula begin this week and will be in place until this fall.

While land-clearing burning will be banned starting Wednesday, outdoor recreational fires will still be allowed.

However, the state Department of Natural Resources and county fire marshals may enact temporary burn bans on all fires throughout the summer depending on weather and other environmental decisions.

In Jefferson County, the Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution Monday that bans open land burning through Sept. 30. However, recreational fires will still be allowed, according to the resolution.

In Clallam County, the restrictions will be in effect until Oct. 1, said George Bailey, Clallam County fire marshal, in a press release.

Both counties restrict the size of outdoor recreational fires down from 10 feet in diameter to 3 feet, and they limit them to 2 feet in height, officials said.

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

Fires used for debris or rubbish disposal are not considered recreational fires and are illegal to include the use of burn barrels, said Brian Tracer, Jefferson County fire marshal, in a press release.

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

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 burn bans for their respective areas.

Both counties can extend or shorten their respective fire restrictions depending on the environmental factors at the time, officials said.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.

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