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Clark County, Battle Ground, Vancouver lift recreational burning bans

Decisions effective Thu., Spet. 20

CLARK COUNTY — Recreational burn bans in unincorporated Clark County and the cities of Vancouver and Battle Ground have been lifted.

Clark County

Rain and cooler temperatures have prompted Clark County Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway to lift the ban on recreational fires in unincorporated Clark County, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Other cities within Clark County are considering lifting the ban as well.

The burn ban took effect on July 26 because of extreme fire danger due to dry conditions and hot temperatures.

Under the modified ban, burning yard debris and material from land clearing will continue to be prohibited until at least Oct. 1, if not longer, depending on fire conditions.

“Please keep in mind that just because we’ve had some rain, fires are still possible,” said Dunaway. “Don’t let down your guard.”

Beginning Thursday morning for the unincorporated county areas and those lands protected by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, recreational fires will be allowed in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

On private land, recreational fires must comply with the following regulations:

  • Fires must be built in metal, rock or masonry-lined pits, such as those in established campgrounds or sold in home and garden stores.
  • Fires cannot exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
  • Fires must be at least 25 feet from structures or combustible materials and have at least 20 feet of overhead clearance from tree limbs, patio covers and carports.
  • Fires must be attended at all times by a responsible person, at least 16 years old, who can extinguish the fire using a shovel and at least 5 gallons of water in one or more containers or a connected hose with the water turned on.
  • Fires must be extinguished by pouring water or shoveling moist soil onto flames and coals and stirring until all areas are cool to the touch.

The use of burn barrels is illegal in unincorporated Clark County.

These regulations pertain only to areas outside city limits. Residents in cities should check with their municipality for regulations on recreational fires and other outside burning.

City of Vancouver

Due to changing weather conditions, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli has lifted the recreational burning ban within the city of Vancouver, effective at 12:01 a.m. Thu., Sept. 20.

Recreational fires, campfires and fires in outdoor fireplaces or chimney-type devices are now allowed. This order applies to areas within the city limits only.

All outdoor burning of things like brush/vegetation and garbage is still prohibited within the city limits.

The burn ban originally took effect on July 26, due to very dry and windy weather conditions.

City of Battle Ground

Also effective Thursday, the recreational burn ban in the city of Battle Ground, originally declared on July 26, is officially lifted by Battle Ground Fire Marshal Chris Drone. Recreational burning refers to campfires and fires in outdoor fireplaces or chimney-type devices.

The recent rainfall and forecast calling for cooler temperatures has lowered the fire danger levels in the city of Battle Ground.  Regardless of weather conditions, there is always the potential for fires to get out of control. One should exercise caution with any outdoor burning by observing regulations and requirements, remaining attentive, and following safety tips.

  • Recreational fires shall not be wider than 3 feet or taller than 2 feet and at least 25 feet away from structures or combustible materials.
  • Only firewood or charcoal may be used in a recreational fire.
  • Never burn yard debris or trash.
  • Ensure that there is a mesh screen in place to keep ash and embers from escaping.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a charged garden hose nearby and ready.
  • The use of burn barrels is strictly prohibited.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces are required to be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Residential burning and land clearing burning of vegetation, yard debris, or branches is prohibited within the Battle Ground city limits. Please refer to the following map provided by Southwest Clean Air Agency at http://www.swcleanair.org/docs/misc/battleground2008.pdf. Those residing outside city limits may contact the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-397-2186 for permitted burning rules and regulations.

As we transition to colder weather, now is the time to check furnaces, stoves and chimneys to ensure that they are clear and clean for safe use. Follow the tips at www.cityofbg.org/heating-fire-safety to maintain a fire-safe home this fall and winter.

Information courtesy of Clark County WA Communications and the city of Vancouver and city of Battle Ground.

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