As we head into spring and the “yardwork” season, it is good time to remember that a permanent burn ban is in place. This permanently prohibits land-clearing and residential burning of garbage, yard clippings and other vegetative debris in specific cities (Ferndale is one) and their urban growth areas (click to see Ferndale’s UGAs). Announcements of burn bans beginning and ending in Whatcom County apply to rural areas not covered by the permanent burn ban.
Current Washington State law bans all outdoor burning to protect public health. Residential yard debris and land-clearing burning is banned in select cities (Ferndale included) and their urban growth areas (UGAs) as of January 1, 2007.
The ban does not apply to fire pits and outdoor barbecues burning clean wood.
If you live in an area outside Ferndale city limits and its urban growth areas and where burning is allowed and choose to burn, you are advised to follow these guidelines provided by the Northwest Clean Air Agency:
(WAC 173-425, RCW 70.94, NWCAA Regulation 502)
- What can be burned? It is only legal to burn natural vegetation.
- Burn Barrels—Burning in barrels is prohibited statewide.
- Nuisance—Smoke, odor or ash that unreasonably impacts neighboring properties is illegal.
- Construction and demolition debris—Materials resulting from a construction, renovation or demolition project cannot be burned.
- Check permit requirements.
- Check the weather—Don’t burn during periods of air stagnation or when the winds exceed 7 mph.
- Check the burn ban status before burning.