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Community Development

Fire prevention
Outdoor burning

Permits are required for burning yard debris and land clearing - in areas where burning is allowed. Outdoor burning is not permitting during the summer months, when the fire danger level tends to be high.

Can I burn on my property?

Outdoor burning of yard debris or for land clearing purposes is illegal within city limits and urban growth areas. To determine if you can burn on your property, view the No Burn Area maps online or contact the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCCA) 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.

What types of materials can I burn?

In areas where burning is allowed, only natural vegetation grown on the property and small amounts of paper necessary to start a fire can be burned.

Burning permits

Small debris piles (less than 10 feet in diameter)
Permits for small open burning fires can be obtained online or at your local fire district station.

Land clearing and large debris piles
Burning permits for general land clearing and for debris piles in excess of 10 feet in diameter can be obtained for a fee at the Permit Services Center, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver. A fire marshal inspection is required prior to burning.

Fire Safety

Fire safety is everyone's responsibility! All outdoor fires must be constantly attended by an adult until the fire is extinguished. Provide adequate means for extinguishing a fire and keep it readily available. Don't burn if wind conditions make it hazardous to do so. Adhere to the fire safety requirements listed on your permit.



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