Residential Fire Requirements

Within East Pierce Fire and Rescue’s jurisdiction, Residential Fires are allowed by permit in designated areas from October 1 - May 31. Per Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Residential Fire permits are not issued to residents within any of the city limits, non-attainment areas, or urban growth boundaries in EPFR’s jurisdiction.

Use this map to determine if you are in a designated burn area:

  • Click on the [ ] to "view larger map" (right side);
  • Click on the magnifying glass symbol (upper left side);
  • Type in your address and press enter or select from the list below, if you see...

    • Red= Residential Burning Prohibited
    • Green=Residential Burning Allowed, Proceed below to obtain a permit.

 The following regulations must be followed:

  • Permit required.
  • Limited to natural vegetation consisting of leaves, branches, prunings, and other yard and garden refuse. Grass clippings are NOT allowed.
  • Not to exceed four-feet in diameter by three-feet in height.
  • Setback from structures at least fifty-feet.
  • Fires shall not be ignited before 8:00 A.M. and must be completely extinguished by sunset.

View complete Residential Fire Requirements.

Follow these steps to obtain a residential burn permit (permit link will only be accessible during burn season):

  • Verify your property is in a designated burn area by using the searchable map above;
  • Type the current date, your name, and address on the permit;
  • Print the permit;
  • Sign the permit (not valid unless signed);
  • Keep the signed permit on the burn site while burning.
RESIDENTIAL BURN PERMIT will be available for download during the burn season.

Outdoor Fires - General Requirements

The following general requirements must be met for all types of burning:

  • Fires shall have a competent person (attendant), at least 18 years of age, present on the immediate fire site at all times.
  • The attendant must verify that there are no burn bans in effect before ignition.
  • Fires must be maintained to assure maximum burning efficiency.
  • A garden hose connected to a water supply, or a shovel and five gallons of water must be at the burn site at all times.
  • Only one fire may be burned at a time on a parcel of land.
  • Fires will not be lit if the wind is blowing more than 5 miles per hour. Lit fires will be extinguished if winds begin to blow more than 5 miles per hour.
  • No fires shall be allowed on any public or private Right-of-Way or in any lake bottom.
  • Fires shall be a minimum of ten (10) feet of adjoining property lines, fences, or docks and the surrounding area shall be clear with no overhanging branches.

 In Washington State, it is...

  • Illegal to use a BURN BARREL.
  • Illegal to burn prohibited materials including:
    • Garbage or refuse
    • Cardboard and paper
    • Building materials including paints, vinyl flooring, roofing and scrap lumber
    • Rubber products, including tires
    • Plastics or petroleum products
    • Material that produces smoke that is offensive or harmful to your neighbors
  • Illegal to smoke out your neighbor. If they complain, you are required to put the fire out immediately - even if you have been issued a burn permit. You can be fined for causing a nuisance, and you may be held financially liable for damages caused by your fire.

Burn bans may be declared by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and/or Pierce County Fire Marshal's Office.

Rather Than Burning, Consider These Alternatives...

HAUL IT! Rake up your excess material and haul it to your nearest Recycling/Transfer Station. Also, check with your local waste disposal company for curbside yard waste recycling  availability.

COMPOST IT! Composting yard and garden waste protects the air, land and water resources while providing a rich garden fertilizer.

CHIP IT! Some residents are choosing to chip their debris. Chippers may be rented or a chipping service hired to take care of your material. Wood chips make excellent mulch around trees and shrubs and can also be used to soften garden paths.

MULCH IT! By mulching, we can easily put nature’s recycling system to work in our own backyard. Spread yard and garden debris around shrubs, trees, and other plantings. Mulching keeps the soil loose and moist, smothers weeds, prevents soil loss and releases nutrients as it decomposes.

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