THURSTON COUNTY GUIDELINES
FOR RESIDENTIAL OUTDOOR BURNING
What are the alternatives to burning?
What can legally be burned?
Where is burning permitted?
Who is eligible to obtain the free permit?
How do I obtain a free permit?
When is burning permitted?
What are safe burning practices?
What about permits for other outdoor burning?
What if I have a question about fire safety?
What if I have a complaint about nuisance outdoor burning?
Where can I go for more information?
What are the alternatives to burning?
  • There are a number of options, including chipping, composting, curbside yard waste collection, and self-hauling to the Thurston County Yard Debris Drop-off Site. Click here for details or call the Thurston County's Alternatives to Burning Hotline at (360) 754-2953.
  • Olympic Region Clean Air Agency also has a flyer available that lists a number of private businesses doing chipping, grinding and other alternative disposal methods. Call ORCAA at (360) 586-1044 or visit the agency's website, www.orcaa.org, to obtain the alternatives list.
  • A list of alternatives is also on the back of the Residential Outdoor Burning permit.
    What can legally be burned?
  • Only natural vegetation grown on a legally permitted site may be burned. You must possess a Residential Outdoor Burning permit for these fires.
  • Remember, there are a number of alternatives to outdoor burning. See below for details.
  • The following materials are prohibited: household garbage or trash, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paints, rubber products, plastics, paper (other than what is necessary to start a fire), cardboard, treated wood, construction/demolition debris, metal, or any other substance (other than natural vegetation) that normally releases toxic emissions, dense smoke, or obnoxious odors when burned. There is a list of prohibited materials on the back of the permits.
    Where is burning permitted?
  • A Residential Outdoor Burning Permit is valid only in unincorporated areas of Thurston County outside the Urban Growth Management Area boundaries.
  • To determine if you can burn and to make sure your burn is legal, access the county website at http://www.geodata.org/ or call your local fire district. From Geodata's home page, click on the 'Online Maps' link. From the online maps page, click on 'Click here to obtain information about a specific parcel.' Input your address in the Address fields. You do not need to complete the rest of the fields. Next, hit the 'Go' button. Select your address from the list. When the data page is returned, click on the 'Other Data about Parcel' link.   Look for the Residential Outdoor Burning entry near the bottom of the page.
    Who is eligible to obtain the free permit?
  • The permit form must be completed and signed by the landowner or the landowner's agent for the site where the burning will occur.
    How do I obtain a free permit?
  • You may obtain a Residential Outdoor Burning permit at your local fire district. Permits expire each year on July 14 and a new permit is required for the next burning season beginning October 16.
    When is burning permitted?
  • Residential outdoor burning is permitted from October 16 through July 14. The only exceptions during this period are when restrictions are announced for fire safety or air quality reasons. Check your newspaper or radio for these announcements. Residential outdoor burning is not permitted from July 15 through October 15.
    What are safe burning practices?
  • Residential Outdoor Burning permit applicants must comply with all regulations that are specified on the permit. Those regulations include, but are not limited to, hours of burning, conditions for burning, size of burn pile, locations of burning, fire safety rules, and air quality implications of residential outdoor burning. Burn barrels are outlawed in Washington.
    What about permits for other outdoor burning?
  • A Land Clearing burn permit can be obtained by calling Olympic Region Clean Air Agency at (360) 586-1044. Land clearing burning involves trees, stumps, shrubbery or other natural vegetation from land clearing projects.
  • A Silvicultural burn permit can be obtained by calling the state Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-527-3305. Silvicultural burns are fires for abating a forest fire hazard; to prevent a hazard; for instruction of public officials in methods of forest fire fighting; any operation to improve forest lands; and burning used to improve or maintain fire-dependent ecosystems for rare plants or animals within state, federal, and private natural area preserves, natural resource conservation areas, parks, and other wildlife areas.
    What if I have a question about fire safety?
  • Please call your local fire district.
    What if I have a complaint about nuisance outdoor burning?
  • Call CAPCOM at (360) 704-2740.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
    For Alternatives:
    Thurston County Solid Waste Alternatives to Burning Hotline (360) 754-2953
    Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (360) 586-1044
    Department of Natural Resources 1-800-527-3305 (use menu option 1-1-1)
    For Thurston County Fire Districts:
    # 1 (Rochester/Grand Mound) (360) 273-5582
    # 2 (Yelm) (360) 458-2799
    # 3 (Lacey) (360) 491-2410
    # 4 (Rainier) (360) 446-2419
    # 5 (Black Lake) (360) 352-7288
    # 6 (East Olympia) (360) 491-5533
    # 7 (North Olympia) (360) 705-0234
    # 8 (South Bay) (360) 491-5320
    # 9 (McLane) (360) 866-1000
    # 11 (Littlerock) (360) 352-1614
    # 12 (Tenino) (360) 264-4116
    # 13 (Griffin) (360) 866-9000
    # 15 (Munn Lake) (360) 754-4170
    # 16 (Gibson Valley) (360) 278-3334
    # 17 (Bald Hills) (360) 894-2915 or 2517
    To Report A Fire, Call 911