Burn Guidelines and Permits

TO BURN OR NOT TO BURN? 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.

Depending on air quality and the severity of seasonal fire activity, burn bans may be declared by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and/or Pierce County Fire Marshal's Office.

Recreational Fire Guidelines

Recreational fires are allowed (without a permit) throughout East Pierce Fire & Rescue's jurisdiction only after the following regulations have been followed:

  • Limited to burning dry, seasoned wood or charcoal briquettes only (no garbage, yard waste, etc.).
  • Not to exceed three-feet in diameter by two two-feet in height.
  • Must be for the purpose of cooking, pleasure or religious ceremonies.

To view the complete guidelines, download the files below:

Recreational Fire Guidelines (PDF)

Recreational Fire Guidelines Brochure (PDF)

Residential Fire Guidelines

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 or urban growth boundaries in EPFR’s jurisdiction.

The following regulations must be followed:

  • Permit obtained.
  • Limited to natural vegetation consisting of leaves, 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.
  • A competent person, at least 18 years of age, shall be present at all times.
  • A garden hose connected to a water supply, or a shovel and five-gallons of water shall be provided a the burn site at all times.

To view the complete guidelines, download the files below:

Residential Fire Guidelines (PDF)

Residential Fire Guidelines Brochure (PDF)

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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