Burning Restrictions

Where can I find out about Skagit County Burn Ban?

The City of Mount Vernon follows Skagit County Burn Bans. For up to date burn ban information please visit the Skagit County Fire Marshal web page or call them at 360-416-1840

• A burn ban applies to all outdoor burning except recreational and cooking fires within enclosures and when safety precautions are followed.

In the event of a “Red Flag Warning” and/or Stage 1 or Stage 2 Air Quality Burn Ban", all outdoor burning shall be prohibited immediately, including recreational fires, cooking fires, and ceremonial, until further notice. A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service  in the United States to inform the public, firefighters, and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire combustion and rapid spread. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours. An Air Quality Burn Ban Stage 1 or Stage 2 can be due to wildfire smoke and air quality conditions threatening public health as issued by the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

Where is burning NOT allowed?

• The City of Mount Vernon prohibits burning of any kind (except for recreational, cooking, and ceremonial fires) within the city limits of Mount Vernon and within the Urban Growth Areas.

What are the rules for recreational, cooking, and ceremonial fires?

• Recreational fires are permitted in campgrounds and on private property for cooking, pleasure, and ceremonial purposes.

• Only seasoned firewood, propane or charcoal may be used for fuel. Fires for debris disposal are NOT considered to be recreational fires.

• The total fuel area is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height. The enclosure must be at least 16 inches high and made of cement blocks, stones or #10 gauge steel. The area above the enclosure must be clear of obstructions for a height of 15 feet. A fire break (bare ground) shall be created around the enclosure. Material being burned must be kept lower than the sidewalls of the enclosure, and the flame height must be lower than 2 feet. 

• The recreational, cooking, or ceremonial fire must be 25 feet from any structure or standing timber.

•One person age 16 or older who is capable of putting out the fire must be in attendance and shall monitor the fire at all times. Have a water source readily available at a minimum, have a charged water hose or two five-gallons buckets of water within 25 feet of the fire.

•Portable outdoor fireplaces, barbeque grill or barbeque fire pit shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Prohibited Burning

• It is illegal to burn garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, household trash, plastics, paper, cardboard, treated wood, construction and demolition debris, metal, and other substances that normally release toxic emissions, dense smoke, or obnoxious odors when burned. State law prohibits burning anything except natural vegetation (leaves, grass, and tree trimmings).

Alternatives to Burning

• Composting, chipping, and recycling are viable alternatives to outdoor burning that create resources, instead of air pollution and a solid waste problem. Drop off your recyclables at any of the three Skagit County transfer stations. For more information about other ways to recycle your waste click here.

Reporting a Burning Violation

• To report burning violations or nuisance fires, call 911 or Skagit County non emergency dispatch at 360-428-3211.The Dispatch Center will log your complaint and refer it to the appropriate fire agency for response.