Barbecues, yes. Yard-debris fires, no. First-stage burn ban time

From the King County Fire Marshal’s Office:

With the dry season already upon us, King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 1 burn ban for the unincorporated areas, which prohibits yard debris fires.

The ban, issued in conjunction with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and King County Fire Marshals Association, does not apply to recreational fires and gas/propane appliances – including grills, pellet smokers and charcoal grills.

Extended periods of unusually high temperatures recently have increased the fuel load, or vegetation, in our communities. That increases the risk of potential fire when burning yard debris.

Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. King County asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember that this is a demanding time for first responders.

“We are coming into the busy summer season,” he says. “While it’s a time to celebrate and have fun with family and friends, it’s also a time when the risk of fire increases. Our first responders are working as fast as they can, but the community can do its part by being extra careful when burning or lighting fires.”

Below are approved recreational (campfires) burn requirements, per the King County Fire Chiefs Association:

-Firewood shall be seasoned and dry
-Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal
-Grow no larger than three (3) feet in diameter
-Be in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches
-Recreational fires shall be always attended by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire with a shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of water or with a connected and charged water hose
-Completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative
-No burning when winds exceed 15 mph

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