Due to the current and forecasted hot, dry conditions, specified outdoor recreational fires (campfires, fire bowls, and fire pits) have been restricted for the Spokane County and Spokane Metro Area effective as of July 24, by order of the Spokane metro area fire marshals.
The restriction will continue until further notice. Such restrictions are subject to change depending on conditions.
“We want to keep our region safe without hindering summer activities.” said Spokane Valley Fire Marshal Greg Rogers. “Citizens still may use backyard barbecues, portable outdoor fireplaces, or other patio/deck warmers, provided the appliance has spark arrester and a chimney, approved fuel is used, and weather conditions support safe recreational fires.”
Use of approved fuels is also allowed which includes seasoned (clean and dry) firewood, briquettes, propane, or natural gas.
Here are other requirements for outdoor fires:
- Fires must be in designated areas or on private property with approval from the owner.
- Fires must be attended by a responsible adult (knowledgeable in the use of the fire extinguishing equipment) at all times.
- Approved fire extinguishing equipment must be on hand and ready for use.
- Equipment can include a garden hose, dirt, sand, bucket, shovel, or a minimum 4A rated portable fire extinguisher.
- Adequate clearance from combustibles must exist.
- For one and two-family dwellings, follow the device manufacturer’s instructions for clearance. Be safe and use good judgment.
- For multi-family dwellings, use at least a 15-foot clearance from combustibles and structures. Be safe and use good judgment.
- Fires must not present a health hazard or nuisance to others.
- Safe wind conditions (no more than 7 mph) must be present.
- Ash and charcoal remnants must be safely disposed of in noncombustible waste containers.
“People are the main cause of wildfires. If we can reduce these risks during our typically hot and dry summer months, we can potentially avoid millions of dollars in lost resources, livestock, property and even human lives,” said Spokane City Fire Marshal Megan Phillips. “After a review of the short-range weather forecast for Spokane County and discussions with our area fire chief partners, we feel it is prudent to initiate burn restrictions until further notice.”
Unsafe or otherwise restricted fires will be required to be extinguished. Failure to comply with the burning restrictions could have serious consequences. A person who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue unauthorized burning when ordered to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor and can face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
For more information on burn restrictions in Washington state, visit DNR.wa.gov