Burning of vegetation, yard waste and fields is now prohibited in Okanogan County. The burn ban runs from June 15 through Oct. 15 because of “the potential for large and catastrophic fires,” according to the ban signed by the Okanogan County commissioners last week.
The county’s Fire Advisory Committee, which consists of the fire chiefs of all fire districts in the county, the county’s emergency manager, the county sheriff, and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), determined the ban was necessary to reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires, according to the commissioners’ resolution.
The ban covers all private property in unincorporated parts of the county, including lands protected by DNR. It also applies to all county-owned property.
Recreational fires used for pleasure, cooking or warmth are currently permitted. But if extreme fire conditions develop, all outdoor fires, including recreational fires, will be prohibited.
Recreational fires must be contained in a concrete, rock or steel ring. The container or ring must be at least 8 inches high and cannot be more than 3 feet in diameter. It must be at least 25 feet from all structures.
The maximum flame height on the recreational fire is 2 feet. The fire has to be attended at all times..
Orchardists who need to control fire blight by burning trees must obtain a permit from the Tri-County Pest Control Office at (509) 667-6827. They must also call the Okanogan County sheriff before burning and continuously monitor the fire.
Campfires are currently permitted in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They are also permitted in state forests and wildlife areas and within designated fire pits and grills at Pearrygin Lake and Alta Lake state parks.
The town of Twisp follows the county’s restrictions, so burning of vegetation and yard waste is banned within town limits as of June 15. People can have a recreational fire in a fire ring that meets the county requirements.
The town of Winthrop doesn’t allow any outdoor burning without a permit from May 1 through Oct. 14. Anyone wanting to have a recreational fire or to burn vegetation in Winthrop must obtain a permit from Okanogan County Fire District 6.
People can check the most up-to-date county restrictions on the Okanogan County Emergency Management website at https://okanogancounty.org/government/emergency_management.