COVID-19 Notice: To help reduce the load on our first responders and others, NWCAA is asking people to voluntarily limit the use of woodstoves and outdoor burning. For more information click here.
The Northwest Clean Air Agency, under the Washington Clean Air Act and the state outdoor burning and agricultural burning rules, is responsible for regulating outdoor and agricultural burning in our jurisdiction.
Recycling, waste reduction, and more environmentally sound disposal methods have reduced outdoor burning. But the Northwest Clean Air Agency still frequently receives public nuisance complaints linked to burning.
Many people use outdoor burning to dispose of unwanted materials and yard waste without understanding its risks. Breathing any type of smoke can significantly harm health, particularly among children and people with asthma, heart disease or other respiratory illnesses. Choose an alternative to outdoor burning to protect your health. And never burn garbage — it’s illegal in Washington and has been since 1976.
Some farmers use agricultural burning to clear fields after a harvest and control pests. Permits are required for agricultural burning, but we encourage farmers to seek alternatives to burning to reduce air pollution that can harm people’s safety and health from breathing smoke-filled air.
Areas where outdoor burning is permanently banned: Residential yard debris and land-clearing burning are banned in all urban growth areas (UGAs)* and the following cities and towns:
Island County: Coupeville, Freeland, Langley, and Oak Harbor.
Skagit County: Anacortes, Bayview, Burlington, Concrete, Hamilton, La Conner, Lyman, March Point, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley.
Whatcom County: Bellingham, Birch Bay, Blaine, Cherry Point, Columbia Valley (Paradise Valley/Peaceful Valley developments), Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, and Sumas.
* Call your local planning department for UGA boundaries.
For more information, see our Outdoor Burning Information booklet.