Fire: Outdoor Burning in Clark County
There are presently two permanent no-burn areas in Clark County; the southern Clark County area (including Vancouver, Camas and Washougal) and the Battle Ground area.
According to the Southwest Clean Air Agency, under provisions of the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) the southern portion of Clark County was designated a non-attainment area for carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3). This required a ban on outdoor burning within the non-attainment area and restrictions on auto emissions and industrial pollutants. The area has since achieved attainment status and was designated a CO/O3 maintenance area. However, the restrictions remain in place to assure continuing attainment and compliance with the FCAA.
With the revision of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-425 in 2000, Washington's outdoor burning rules were amended. As of December 31, 2000 outdoor burning was prohibited in cities with a population of greater than 10,000 and their Urban Growth Areas. Prohibitions also apply in adjacent areas with a population density of 1,000 or more people per square mile and areas with a reasonable alternative to burning. This ruling has affected the southern Clark County and Battle Ground areas as follows:
- The southern Clark County no-burn area was expanded to include portions of the Vancouver, Camas and Washougal Urban Growth Areas that extend beyond the original non-attainment area.
- The Battle Ground no burn area was newly created within the boundaries of its urban growth area.
- Burning has been permanently banned in both of these areas, with the exception of recreational fires. Future restrictions may follow based on population density and access to alternatives.
The use of a burn barrel was banned in the State of Washington effective April 13, 2000. Burning garbage has been illegal in the State of Washington since 1967.
Recreational fires under 3'x3'x2', using charcoal or firewood, are still allowed in all of Clark County without a permit. Recreational fires in excess of 3'x3'x2' need a written permit.
Visit their web site or call the Southwest Clean Air Agency (360) 574-3058 for more information.