With cooler and damper weather in the county and across the state, bans on burning in Okanogan County have been lifted. The Okanogan County commissioners lifted the burn ban as of Monday (Oct. 3).

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has also lifted the burn ban on lands under its protection in Okanogan County. Some restrictions remain on DNR lands in Northeastern Washington.

Now that the ban is lifted, property owners can burn natural vegetation as long as the burning takes place at least 50 feet from structures and 500 feet from forest slash. The area must be cleared of any flammable debris.

Burn piles must be less than 4-by-4-by-3 feet in size, and only one pile can be burned at a time. Piles must be attended at all times. People must have a connected water hose or at least five gallons of water and a shovel nearby and attend the fire until it is completely extinguished.

To avoid nuisance smoke, people must make sure smoke lifts away from populated areas. It is too windy to burn if trees are swaying, flags are extended, or waves appear on open water.

Burning of garbage, garden or yard waste is prohibited.

Before burning, people must check that there are no restrictions in place.

More information is available from the DNR burn line (800-323-BURN) or at www.dnr.wa.gov by doing a search for “burn permits. “Agricultural burning often requires a permit from DNR. Current status by county is available at waburnbans.net.

People must also check with the Department of Ecology to make sure that there is no ban based on air quality. Call (509) 575-2490.

WDFW has eased their burning restrictions as well. See their website for details: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/oct0316a/