As of 5pm on Friday, July 15, 2022, Thurston County enacted a Fire Safety Burn Ban. This burn ban will be in effect until Friday, September 30, 2022.
It is common to see several burn bans enacted In Washington State during the summer months. Some of these burn bans are regional, on state lands, or local. In Thurston County, if current weather conditions meet a high fire danger, the Thurston County Fire Marshal, in consultation with the County Manager, Board of County Commissioners, Thurston County Director of Emergency Services, Department of Natural Resources, and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), may enact local restrictions on outdoor burning to all lands regulated by Thurston County. The restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer have resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past several years, according to fire officials.
Other burn bans may be issued by ORCAA, which monitors air quality for the Olympic Region, to include Thurston County, the Department of Natural Resources, and other counties.
Generally, a county burn ban will apply to residential yard waste burning and all land clearing burns. Recreational fires are generally allowed on private residential properties and in established fire rings within official county, state, and federal campgrounds, unless the risk of wildfire is extremely high. Recreational fires must always be contained in approved concrete, stone or metal pits like those commonly found in campgrounds.
Different Types of Burn Bans
Air Quality Burn Bans: Air quality burn bans are issued by the Department of Ecology, local clean air agencies, and tribes to protect people's health. This burn ban limits wood stove use and outdoor burning.
The Department of Ecology calls burn bans only in counties with no local clean air agency. Thurston County's clean air agency is Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).
Fire Safety Burn Bans: Fire safety burn bans are called by the Washington Department of Natural Resources for state managed lands, local fire districts (and here, the county in for all lands regulated by Thurston County), and tribes to protect people and property when wildfire danger is high. These burn bans limit outdoor, residential, agricultural, and forest burning.