FERNDALE, Wash. — Whatcom County Fire District 17 (WCFD17) announced today that residential yard debris, beach debris and land clearing fires would no longer be permitted after this year.
According to WCFD17 Fire Chief Jim Petrie, there were 2 primary reasons for the change. “New home construction combined with smaller lot sizes makes it virtually impossible for property owners to meet the 50’ setback requirements,” Petrie said in an email. He also noted they receive many complaints each year from residents whose air quality is impacted by the nuisance smoke from outdoor burning.
Recreational camp and beach fires up to 3-feet in diameter consisting of either split dry firewood or charcoal will still be permitted providing all the conditions adopted by WCFD17 for those types of fires are met.
The change goes into effect January 1, 2020. Violators can be charged fees for fire department response and fire suppression and charged with a misdemeanor.
WCFD17 serves Sandy Point Shores, Sandy Point Heights, Neptune Heights, Neptune Beach and western portions of the Lummi Indian Reservation.