As many find themselves doing yard work to stay busy during the mandatory stay at home order, it is a good time to remember a permanent burn ban is in place in Ferndale and Sandy Point areas. This permanently prohibits burning of garbage, yard clippings and other vegetative debris within Ferndale city limits, its urban growth areas and within the boundaries of Whatcom County Fire District 17 (WCFD17) (serving Sandy Point to western portions of the Lummi Indian Reservation). Announcements of other burn bans typically apply to the other areas in Whatcom County not covered by this 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 bans do not apply to recreational camp fires in approved enclosures and outdoor barbecues burning clean wood, charcoal or gas.
Violators can be charged fees for fire department response and fire suppression and charged with a misdemeanor.
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 guidelines provided by the Northwest Clean Air Agency (WAC 173-425, RCW 70.94, NWCAA Regulation 502):
- 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.