Outdoor Burning Information

Different Types of Burn Bans

Burn bans may be issued by the County Fire Marshal for fire safety reasons, by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to protect air quality, and by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to help reduce the risk of wildfires.

  1. Fire Safety Burn Ban
  2. Air Quality Burn Ban
  3. DNR Burn Ban

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal is responsible for all fire safety burn bans in unincorporated Snohomish County. These are usually issued in response to hot and/or dry conditions.

CURRENT BURN BAN INFO (PDF) - BURN BAN WILL BE LIFTED AS OF SEPTEMBER 12, 2019, AT 8:00 A.M.

Call Before You Burn

Prior to any burning you we suggest you contact our Burning Information Line at 425-388-3508 to verify that there are no Burn Bans or Burning Limitations that may have been placed due to high fire danger or air quality conditions. For additional air quality information you can contact Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Land Clearing Burning Prohibited

Since 2008, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has maintained a permanent ban on land clearing burning in Snohomish, Kitsap, King, and Pierce counties in accordance with WAC 173-425-040(5). Land clearing burning applied to fires to clear land for development, such as building a new structure or subdivision.

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Residential Burning

Residential burning, a burn pile no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet by 3 feet, requires a permit under our burn permit ordinance (PDF). Residential burning means the outdoor burning of leaves, clippings, prunings, and other yard and gardening refuse originating on lands immediately adjacent and in close proximity to a human dwelling and burned on such lands by the property owner or his or her designee.

Recreational Fires

Recreational fires, no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet in size, do not require a permit. By definition recreational fires are cooking fires, and  campfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires.

Burn Permits

Burn Permits are required and issued by the Office of the Snohomish County Fire Marshal and participating local fire districts for residential burning. Permits will be issued for locations outside the Urban Growth Areas (UGA) that are outside of the established no-burn zones (PDF) and within fire protection districts of unincorporated Snohomish County.

Snohomish County Burn Permits

An instructional guide (PDF) has been prepared to detail the requirements of the residential burn permit application and to provide a list of general conditions typically attached to each permit.


To apply for a new residential burn permit, go to www.mybuildingpermit.com (MBP) and choose jurisdiction, Snohomish County.  Then choose Fire, Single Family Residential, New, Open Burn Permit. Please allow 5 days for processing. You will receive an invoice for $30.90 after staff review the application. Upon payment, Snohomish County PDS will issue the permit which will be valid for one year.  The permit may be renewed annually for $15.45. The renewal must be applied for prior to the expiration date of the permit.  When applying for the permit renewal, choose "Renew" instead of "New" at MBP.

Fire Districts Burn Permits

The following fire districts have entered into an inter-local agreement with Snohomish County to issue permits on behalf of the county and will regulate burning and burn permits within their districts:

If you live within the jurisdictional boundaries of one of these districts, it will be necessary to contact them directly to obtain a burn permit. If you would like to locate or verify the boundaries of a particular fire district you can you can:

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Wildfires

As more people move to remote areas wildfires (PDF) have become increasingly common as that creates an environment where fire can move readily between structures and vegetation. Emergency response can be difficult in these isolated and undeveloped areas. There is no guarantee that firefighters will be able to save your home if a wildfire occurs so it is imperative that property owners in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) understand the risks and prepare appropriately. For more information contact your local fire department.