King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 1 fire safety burn ban for the unincorporated areas of King County starting Thursday. The ban will remain in effect until further notice.
The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-90’s throughout the weekend, with readings climbing to nearly 100 degrees Sunday. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for King County.
The Stage 1 fire safety burn ban applies to all outdoor burning, except for barbecues and small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or private property with the owner’s permission.
“Extreme heat and especially dry conditions have increased the risk of wildfire dramatically,” Ricketts says. “People in both rural and urban unincorporated areas need to use caution.”
Recreational fires still pose a risk, so their use shall be limited and respected accordingly. Ricketts says recreational fires must:
- Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds, and not be used as debris disposal
- Be no larger than three feet in diameter
- Be located in a clear spot, free from any vegetation for at least ten feet in a horizontal direction and at least 25 feet away from any structure, and allow 20 feet of vertical clearance from overhanging branches
- Be attended at all times by an alert individual with equipment capable of extinguishing the fire
If your property is inside city limits, please contact your local jurisdiction for their requirements. This ban remains in effect until further notice.
With Fourth of July fireworks sales beginning across the county, Ricketts also reminds users to stay mindful of their surroundings when discharging fireworks.
It’s every individual’s responsibility to help prevent fires that destroy lives, property, and our wildlands. For more information, visit the Local Services Fire Marshal’s website.