Use precautions if you will be burning natural debris this spring

information released by Chelan County Fire Marshal’s Office, DOE file photo

If you are planning to burn natural debris on your property, remember that last year’s grass is very flammable right now.

While open burning is allowed until June 1, consider such factors such as the weather and wind conditions, your surroundings, and if you can hold off until conditions green up in our area. Also consider where you live. The burning of yard waste in urban growth areas is prohibited.

The Chelan County Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you keep these outdoor burning guidelines in mind:

• Before burning, call the Washington Department of Ecology’s Daily Burn Decision for general guidance at 800-406-5322 (press Option 1 then Option 2 for Chelan County). No burning is allowed if wind speeds exceed 10 mph.

• Attended recreational campfires are allowed at dispersed camping sites, private residences and hosted campgrounds in approved campfire rings or pits. The campfire area must be clear – 36 inches in diameter around the campfire – of combustible material. Always have a shovel and water readily available on site to suppress a fire.

• Burning of natural vegetation is allowed on your property; however, no burning of garbage or building debris is allowed. The maximum pile size is 4 feet by 4 feet. An area of 10 feet around the pile must be clear of combustible material. Again, always have water and a shovel readily available on site to suppress the fire.

• No household trash or garbage can be burned outdoors at residences at any time. If your property is not in an urban growth area, only natural vegetation can be burned.

• Burn barrels are illegal and are not permitted.

• Always have at least one person attending the burn pile and provide them with a means (hand tools and water) to control the fire or put out spot fires.

• If you have an orchard, agricultural operations do not need a permit from Ecology to burn prunings or fire-blight if they are just limbs and a few whole trees. However, if an orchard is removing whole blocks of trees or multiple acres, then it needs an agricultural pile burn permit from Ecology.

For additional information, please contact Chelan County Fire Prevention & Investigation. 316 WASHINGTON STREET, SUITE 301, WENATCHEE, WA 98801 PHONE (509) 667-6464 FAX (509) 667-6475

Contacts: Stephen Rinaldi, Fire Marshal:, cell (509) 630-9259

Bob Plumb, Deputy Fire Marshal:, cell (509) 630-4823

** Note: Use Rivercom’s nonemergency number to report illegal fires: 663-9911**