Rules & Regulations for Recreational Fires

Spring has arrived, part of spring and summer activities are recreational fires. Here is a review of what Sudden Valley and Whatcom County allow for Recreational Fires.

Here is the reference out of the Sudden Valley Rules and Regulations:

Recreational fire” means cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking or pleasure.

1.6.2 Policy:

By reference, the provisions of WAC 173-425 are adopted. Consistent with policies for Urban Growth Areas in High Density Areas, no residential or land clearing burning are allowed.

1.6.3 Exceptions:

The following types of outdoor burning are allowed:

(a) Recreational fires with a total fuel area of less than three (<3) feet in diameter and/or two (<2) feet in height are permitted.

(b) Firefighting instruction fires.

Whatcom County Regulations are as follows (best practices)

  • No permit is required for recreational fires in Whatcom County
  • Up to 3 feet by 3 feet of seasoned firewood or charcoal only
  • Must have enclosure 16 inches high, made of steel or masonry / rockery
  • 25 feet from structures, timber, and combustible material
  • 15 feet overhead clearance required
  • Garden hose or 2 5-gallon buckets of water at fire
  • Hand tools required onsite
  • Allowed after dark if attended until fire is out cold

Sudden Valley Beach Fires

Beach Fires must be permitted by the administration and must comply with the best practices for extinguishing, placement etc. Permits can be obtained from the Sudden Valley Safety, Security and Operations Coordinator.

General Rules in Regards to Burning in Sudden Valley

1.6 Complying with the State of Washington Outdoor Burning Regulations (WAC 173-425), the Northwest Air Pollution Authority (NWAPA), and South Whatcom Fire Authority regulations: NO OUTDOOR BURNING is allowed in Sudden Valley except as provided in 1.6.3. (Further informational printouts regarding the WAC 173-425 and NWAPA are available at the Administration Office)

Burn Ban

1.6.4 When a burn ban is in effect in Sudden Valley no outdoor fires except properly enclosed cooking fires using gas or charcoal as fuel will be permitted. All other outdoor fires (open flame, including recreational fires as described in 1.6.3) are prohibited for the duration of the burn ban.

(a) A burn ban will automatically go into effect in Sudden Valley if Whatcom County declares a burn ban.

(b) A burn ban may be declared in Sudden Valley by the Board President or the General Manager if a burn ban is put into effect by Skagit County or if conditions in Sudden Valley are deemed sufficiently hazardous as to require the ban.

(c) The existence of the burn ban will be publicized by all available means including gate signs, web site, Sudden Valley Views and community bulletin boards.