Outdoor Burning In Spokane County
Outdoor burning for disposal purposes has been phased-out in most areas of our state due to the negative health impacts of breathing smoke. Natural vegetation, such as lawn clippings, leaves, and pine needles, produces toxic air pollutants when burned. When inhaled, these pollutants can have serious impacts on our lungs. Those at greatest risk are children, elderly, and those suffering from chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.
Some types of outdoor burning are still allowed in Spokane County depending upon where you live and what you wish to burn. Click on the topic below for more details. Click on the brochure on the right to view the document.
Temporary Burn Bans — Spokane Clean Air and the Washington State Department of Ecology may issue bans on outdoor burning based on air quality. Fire Protection Agencies and local officials may ban burning based on fire hazards. In addition, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may issue burn bans on state lands and on unimproved private property (silvicultural burning).
Current burning conditions will appear on our "burning conditions" webpage and on the Burn Info Line at 477-4710.
Outdoor Wood-fired Boilers (residential)— Wood-fired boilers are not legal in Washington State. EPA Method 28 OWHH is a Category C test not officially approved by EPA or Washington state. Outdoor Wood-fired Boilers fact sheet.
Burn Barrels and other Illegal Burning — Burning garbage has been prohibited in Spokane since the 1970s. The only material that may be burned legally in Washington (under specific guidelines and depending upon where you live) is unprocessed natural vegetation. In 2000, the state legislature banned burn barrels statewide. Therefore, even natural vegetation may not be burned in a burn barrel.
Smoke from burn barrels is noxious because the fires burn at low temperatures, receiving very little oxygen and producing excessive smoke and other toxic substances.
"Open burning of household waste in barrels is potentially one of the largest sources of airborne dioxin and furan emissions in the United States"- US EPA