The only fires allowed within city limits are “recreational fires” defined as cooking fires or campfires using firewood or charcoal for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.

Fires used for yard waste or debris disposal purposes are considered “residential fires” and are prohibited within city limits

Obtain a Burn Permit

BURN STATUS

Recreational Fires Okay

Recreational burning is permitted while the burn ban status is off.

The VRFA Fire Marshal follows all burn bans set forth by the KC Fire Marshal and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

WHAT YOU CAN BURN

If there is no burn ban in effect, residents can obtain educational burn permits for Recreational Fires

Recreational fires are defined as cooking or camp fires using:
  • Seasoned firewood
  • Manufactured logs
  • Charcoal briquettes

Publicly owned areas with designated fire pits do not require a permit from the VRFA.

WHAT YOU CAN'T BURN

Residential Fires are always prohibited within city limits

  • Brush, yard debris, or other vegetation
  • Garbage or plastics
  • Treated materials
  • Burn Barrels

Fires used for land-clearing, yard waste or debris disposal purposes are illegal. Learn how to legally dispose of yard waste through the King County Solid Waste Division.

Obtain a Burn Permit


Recreational fire permits are considered to be an educational permit and no associated fee is charged to the individual obtaining the permit.

Rules for Outdoor Burning

  • Check for burn bans prior to your scheduled burn
  • Fire must be contained in a fire pit constructed of concrete, metal, or other non-combustible material
  • Fire must be no larger than (3) three feet in diameter and no more than (2) two feet in height
  • A responsible adult of sound judgment must attend to the fire at all times
  • A hose with a reliable water supply must be readily available, able to reach at least 10 feet beyond the fire pit
  • Fire pits are not allowed within 25 feet of any structure, property line, public way (streets etc.) or other combustible material

Outdoor Burning FAQs


Rules that govern outdoor burning and establish outdoor burning guidelines are contained within Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-425, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Regulation I and the International Fire Code as adopted by each local city.

In accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-425 the only fires allowed within an “Urban Growth Area” are “Recreational Fires.”

By definition within WAC 173-425, an Urban Growth Area means land, generally including and associated with an incorporated city, designated by a county for urban growth under RCW 36.70A.030.

By definition within WAC 173-425, “Recreational Fires” means cooking fires, campfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires but are considered residential fires.

Seasoned firewood or manufactured logs (ideally with a moisture content less than 20 percent by weight) and charcoal briquettes. Recently downed wood, brush, yard debris or treated dimensional lumber is not allowed for the use of recreational fires.

Within the VRFA service area (Algona, Auburn and Pacific), residential burning (yard waste and land maintenance), bon fires and land clearing fires are banned by the State of Washington legislature.

Learn how to legally dispose of yard waste through the King County Solid Waste Division.

Yes, permits are required within the VRFA service area which includes the cities of Algona, Auburn and Pacific. Recreational fire permits are considered to be an educational permit and no associated fee is charged to the individual obtaining the permit. Permits ARE NOT required in City park areas with designated fire pits. Recreational fire permits issued by the VRFA are not transferable. Permits will not be issued during burn bans as declared by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the King County Fire Marshal or the VRFA Fire Marshal.

Recreational fire permits are issued for use within private property. Publicly owned areas with designated fire pits do not require a permit from the Valley Regional Fire Authority.

You are responsible for the smoke from your fire. If smoke from any outdoor fire impacts or unreasonably interferes with the use or enjoyment of surrounding or adjacent property, it is considered a nuisance and you must stop burning when notified. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency defines nuisance smoke as follows: “…odor is distinct and definite, any unpleasant characteristics recognizable”. Before burning make sure to check wind direction to help determine that the smoke from your fire will not create a nuisance for surrounding or adjacent property. Be a good neighbor. Notify your neighbors that you have obtained a “Recreational Fire” permit and that they should notify you if your smoke is becoming a nuisance.

Recreational fires can have a fuel area no larger than three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in height. Open fires on the ground shall be at least 25 feet from all structures and fences.

To report active illegal or nuisance burning, always call 911.

For general burning questions, contact the VRFA’s Fire Marshal’s Office at 253-288-5870 (M-F, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM).

Be A Good Neighbor

You are responsible for the smoke from your fire. If smoke from any outdoor fire impacts or unreasonably interferes with the use or enjoyment of surrounding or adjacent property, it is considered a nuisance and you must stop burning when notified.

Burning during a burn ban may result in monetary fines beginning from $2,000 plus the cost of reimbursing the fire department for responding. To report illegal or nuisance burning, call 911.