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Burn bans take effect in King, Snohomish and other W. Wash. counties

Burn piles like this are banned until further notice in a number of Western Washington counties. [Alexandra Steinmetz/Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project via AP]

Two of Western Washington's most populous counties - King and Snohomish - have joined a host of other Western Washington counties in enacting outdoor burn bans as warm, dry summer weather takes hold over the region.

- In King County, a Phase 1 burn ban will take effect Saturday in all unincorporated areas of the county. All outdoor burning will be prohibited except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or private property with the owner’s permission. Recreational fires must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit and not be used as debris disposal.

- In Snohomish County, outdoor burning will be banned in all unincorporated areas starting Friday at 8 a.m. The ban also applies in Arlington, Brier, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Mukilteo, Stanwood and Sultan. Small recreational or cooking fires will be allowed in a fire pit.

The burn bans come at the start of a projected period of sunny, dry weather in the Puget Sound region. No rain is in the forecast for at least the next 10 to 14 days.

Here is a rundown of other burn bans announced so far in Western Washington:

- Whatcom County: Restrictions on outdoor burning will take effect at 8 a.m. Friday. After that time, all land clearing and yard debris burning must be discontinued, and all issued burn permits are suspended. Small recreational fires will still be allowed, with the landowner's permission, subject to certain conditions.

- Kitsap County: A Phase 1 burn ban took effect at 8 a.m. Thursday throughout the county. General back yard burning as well as land clearing is prohibited and all burning permits will be suspended for the immediate future until the ban is lifted. Recreational fires must be 3 feet or less in size, in a designated fire pit using only charcoal or dry firewood. More information can be found here ... https://www.kitsapgov.com/dcd/Pages/Fire-Marshal.aspx

- Skagit County: A modified burn ban for all residential and land clearing fires will go into effect at noon Friday in unincorporated Skagit County. All existing burning permits are suspended. Small recreational and cooking fires are allowed, subject to certain restrictions.

- Pierce County: All outdoor land clearing and yard debris burning is banned effective at noon Thursday. The ban does not apply to small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or on private property, with the owner’s permission. The use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbecues are allowed.

- Island County: All outdoor burning of natural debris will be banned - even for those with a permit - starting at noon Friday. Recreational or cooking fires will be allowed only in approved fire pits lined with concrete or metal, such as in established campgrounds, and cooking fires in barbecues. Self-contained camp stoves are also allowed.

- Clallam County: All outdoor burning is banned, effective July 1, except for recreational fires used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, warmth, cooking or similar purposes. Recreational fires are permitted unless further banned by extreme weather conditions. The ban will remain in effect through Oct. 1, 2018.

- Grays Harbor County: All residential burning, along with land clearing and forest burning, is prohibited effective July 1 until further notice. Recreational campfires are allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds. On private land, campfires are permitted with the landowner’s permission if built in an approved manner.

- Jefferson County: A normal summer burn ban is now in effect. This ban prohibits burning of yard debris and all other open burning other than recreational or ceremonial campfires in burn pits and charcoal barbecues. The burn ban is expected to be lifted on Oct. 1, 2018.

- Mason County: All land clearing fires and residential debris fires are prohibited effective July 7. Recreational fires in concrete, stone or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds are still permitted, as well as the use of charcoal briquettes, gas and propane barbeques.

- Pacific County: All outdoor burning other than recreational fires is banned effective July 9. All residential burning in conjunction with land clearing is prohibited until further notice. Recreational campfires will still be allowed as long as they are within an improved fire pit in designated campgrounds. Campfires on private land will still be allowed if approved safety measures are followed.

Fire marshals in all counties say the burn bans are needed due to reduced moisture levels, low humidity and warmer weather - as well as an increased number of brush fires in recent weeks, particularly from escaped burn piles.

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More information about Washington state burn bans can be found here ...

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