Submitted by San Juan County
Outdoor burning in the county opens on Oct. 1. Burning rules apply to all burns in San Juan County and a permit is required for residential and commercial burns.
Residential burning is defined as a permitted burn pile that is a maximum of 10 feet is size. These permits are to be issued to residents in San Juan County. Residential burn permits are appropriate for the burning of yard waste and debris from trees and shrubs, pruning and post-storm cleanup. A residential permit is not appropriate for land clearing operations where multiple stumps will be burned, regardless of pile size. Residential burning requires a charged hose to be on site with a shovel and someone to be present for the duration of the burn until it is dead out. There is no residential burning allowed in Urban Growth Areas of San Juan County. Residential permits may be purchased online or in person at the San Juan County Department of Community Development office, or at the main fire stations on Orcas, Lopez, San Juan and Shaw.
Commercial burning is defined as burning outside of the UGA and Commercial permits are issued for piles larger than 10 feet in size, where contractors are supervising burning with machinery on site. Types of work that commercial permits are appropriate for include land clearing and timber harvest waste. Commercial burns require an inspection on site by the San Juan County fire marshal or their designee and are not available for purchase online. All commercial permits for San Juan will be issued at the Department of Community Development on Rhone Street in Friday Harbor. San Juan Fire and Rescue will no longer issue commercial permits but will issue residential permits. Commercial permits may take seven business days.
Land clearing operations may be subject to other permits by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and it the landowner’s responsibility to make sure work is not subject to this requirement.
Campfires are defined as 2-foot by 2-foot fires and do not need a permit. Campfires are for the burning of firewood and not intended for yard waste disposal. All permits issued are for burning are for natural vegetation. The burning of treated or processed wood material is prohibited. Other prohibited materials include: garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paints, rubber, plastics and paper, other than the small amount of paper necessary to start a fire. Burning of prohibited materials is illegal and subject to fines.