Open Burn Info
Outdoor Burning in San Juan County
Outdoor burning is defined as burning of fire wood in approved camp fire sites or burning of yard waste at residential or commercial burns. There are three types of outdoor burning:
Camp Fires(also called Recreational Fires)are defined as fires that are burning clean dry firewood, (not yard waste,) in a fire ring or bowl that is no larger than two feet in diameter. Approved camp fires also must have a two-foot perimeter around them, resulting in a six-foot clear diameter area. Camp fires are allowed year round, except when a county burn ban is in effect, and require no permit. Note: county burning rules may conflict with state or private campground rules at certain times of year, if you are visiting San Juan County, please confirm the burning status that is in place at the location you are staying. Recreational fires must be fueled by clean, dry, natural wood. Refuse, plastic, painted wood, etc. cannot be burned, garbage burning is subject to fines.Burn barrels are not allowed at any time due to a prohibition by the State Department of Ecology.
Residential Firesare the burning of piles of brush and yard debris in piles no larger than 10 feet in diameter with a permit issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office. These permits may be obtained on the web by following this link or by visiting your local fire department’s main office from 9-4 Monday through Friday. Residential burn permits cost $20.00 and go on sale sometime in October and are valid until the 31st of May. Residential burning permits are designed to allow homeowners or caretakers of property to reduce the fuel load of a property or to dispose of cleared trees and vegetation by burning. Other permits may be required for land clearing and tree cutting/thinning purposes. Note: some years an extension of 15-30 days may be granted for the burning season by the Fire Marshal’s Office when weather permits.
Commercial Firesare a designation for large piles of yard debris and trees to be burnt in piles of up to 40 feet in diameter with an excavator on site. This type of burn requires a permit with a fee of $250.00 and a site inspection by a representative of the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office. The representative will determine the size of the fire based on weather and terrain, a commercial permit is not guaranteed a 40-foot diameter burn. Commercial burn permits are typically utilized to reduce the amount of waste by large land clearing operations conducted by contractors while developing sites in San Juan County. The commercial burning season begins in October, on a date determined by the Fire Marshal’s office (typically the first Monday in October) and continues until May 31st, permits are valid for 30 days from the time of purchase, no commercial burning is allowed after May 31st.
Please note that Commercial and Residential burning is not allowed in Urban Growth Areas.