Fire marshal urges caution with campfires, burn piles during warm weather

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement calling for ‘unseasonably high fire danger throughout this week’

VANCOUVER – Warm weather is in the forecast throughout the weekend, and Clark County Fire Marshal Dan Young urges county residents to use extra caution with any outdoor burning activities.

Map courtesy of Southwest Clean Air Agency
Map courtesy of Southwest Clean Air Agency

“While we are all glad to have some sun to enjoy the outdoors, I urge everyone to make sure campfires and burn piles are fully extinguished before abandoning them,” said Young. “The current weather conditions have resulted in vegetation being much drier than it normally would be for this time of year. Continued warm, dry weather and a lack of humidity will increase the potential for fire danger.”

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement calling for “unseasonably high fire danger throughout this week.”

Young reminds residents that permits are required for burning yard debris and land clearing – in areas where burning is allowed.

Outdoor burning of yard debris or for land clearing purposes is illegal within city limits and urban growth areas. Residents can determine whether they can burn on their property by viewing the No Burn Area maps online or contacting the Southwest Clean Air Agency at (360) 574-3058.

Recreational campfires are allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as those found in local, county and state parks. On private land, recreational fires must be built according to the following regulations:

• Fires must be built in a metal, stone or masonry-lined pit such as those seen in approved campgrounds or sold in home and garden stores. Fires must not exceed 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet in height.

• Fires must be at least 25 feet from a structure or other combustible material and have at least 20 feet of clearance from overhead fuels such as tree limbs, patio covers or carports.

• Fires must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16 years old and with the ability to extinguish the fire using a shovel, five gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.

• Completely extinguish recreational fires by pouring water or moist soil on them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.

• Only charcoal or seasoned firewood (not lumber) may be used as fuel for a recreational fire.

The use of burn barrels is illegal.

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.