Submitted by the City of Bellingham, written by Bellingham Fire Marshal Ron Richard

Effective immediately, all outdoor fires within the Bellingham city limits are prohibited until further notice. This includes recreational fires. The Bellingham Fire Department has deemed this a necessary safety precaution due to continued high temperatures and dry vegetation within the city.

This restriction prohibits all fires where solid wood is being used as fuel including open-air campfires and fires in fire pits or outdoor fireplaces. Under this recreational fire ban, propane and natural gas fire pits and barbecues and charcoal barbecues are still allowed to be used for cooking provided solid wood is not being burned. However, care should be exercised in the disposal of charcoal and ashes. Charcoal and ash should be discarded in a metal container and dowsed with water. The container must be kept 10 feet from any structures, trees, or other combustible materials.

The City of Bellingham fire safety burn ban is being issued in conjunction with the Northwest Clean Air Agency (NWCAA) Stage 2 air quality burn ban, which was issued earlier today (Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020) due to the presence of persistent wildfire smoke in our region. The Bellingham fire safety burn ban and the NWCAA air quality burn ban may be lifted independent of one another as various conditions improve. 

City residents will want to refer to both the NWCAA and Bellingham Fire Departmentwebsites to monitor outdoor burning restrictions. You can also contact Bellingham Fire Department at (360) 778-8420 for more information.

Escaped outdoor fires are one of the top causes of wildfires in the State of Washington. As such, similar actions are being enacted throughout Whatcom County. For the latest county information, contact the Whatcom County Burn Information line at (360) 778-5903.

Our community is a special place and we all need to do our part to keep it safe, especially during increased fire danger periods. Reckless violation of these restrictions should be reported by calling 9-1-1. Violation of these restrictions can result in criminal charges and minimum fines of $250.

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