Open Burn Info

Outdoor Burning in San Juan County


Outdoor burning is defined as burning of fire wood in approved camp fire sites or burning of yard waste or other vegetation at residential or commercial burns.  There are three types of outdoor burning.

Camp Fires

(also called Recreational Fires) burn clean, dry firewood (not yard waste) in a fire ring or bowl that is no more than three feet in diameter.  Approved camp fires also must have a two-foot cleared earth perimeter around them.  Camp fires are allowed year-round, except when a county burn ban is in effect, and require no permit. Note: county burning rules may conflict with state or private campground rules at certain times of year, if you are visiting San Juan County, please confirm the burning status that is in place at the location you are staying. Recreational fires must be fueled by clean, dry, natural wood.  Refuse, plastic, painted wood, etc. cannot be burned, and burning of garbage is subject to fines.  Burn barrels are not allowed at any time due to a prohibition by the State Department of Ecology.

Recreational Fires Status: OPEN 

Residential Fires

Burning brush and yard debris in piles less than 10 feet in diameter require a residential burn permit.  Residential burning permits are designed to allow homeowners or caretakers of property to reduce the fuel load of a property or to dispose of cleared trees and vegetation by burning.  Other permits may be required for land clearing and tree cutting/thinning purposes.  

Residential fires are not allowed after May 31st.  A new burn permit must be obtained each burn season, which begins in October if/when conditions and weather are favorable.

Residential Permit Burning: OPEN 

Commercial Fires

Burning yard debris and vegetation in piles greater than 10 feet in diameter require a commercial burn permit.  Commercial burns are typically conducted by contractors to reduce the amount of waste created by large land clearing operations or while developing sites in San Juan County.  

Commercial burn permits cost $300 (a convenience fee of $7.50 will be added to payments by credit or debit card).  A water supply and heavy equipment such as an excavator are required on site, and a site inspection must be conducted by a representative of the San Juan County Fire Districts prior to issuing the permit.  The representative will determine the allowable size of the burn based on weather, terrain, materials and other factors.  Permits are valid for 30 days from the date of issue, and no commercial burning is allowed after May 31st. 

Commercial Permit Burning: OPEN 

 Please note that neither residential nor commercial burning is allowed in Urban Growth Areas.