More Western Wash. counties announce outdoor burn bans

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

More Western Washington counties are initiating restrictions on outdoor burning as dry summer weather takes hold in the region.

Here is a rundown of burn bans announced so far:

- 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 will take 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 ...

- 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 will be 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.

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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