King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for unincorporated King County, prohibiting all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are restricted to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only.
The Stage 2 burn ban goes into effect immediately for unincorporated King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. King County’s ban is coordinated with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Marshals, which extends the ban into cities.
The updated ban takes effect as the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region. This means critical fire weather conditions are present, and any fires that develop will likely spread quickly.
During a Stage 2 burn ban, burning residential debris is prohibited, as is any other outdoor fire, such as a backyard fire pit or campfire (using firewood or charcoal). Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or discontinue it when ordered or notified can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Ricketts asks residents to please use caution when using any open flame.
Extended periods of unusually high temperatures have increased our communities’ fuel load or vegetation. The large fire in Oregon and other fires in Washington have stretched wildfire fighting resources throughout the region.
Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. King County asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors and to remember that this is a demanding time for first responders.
“The summer months may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean high temperatures and dry conditions are,” Ricketts said. “Residents of the unincorporated areas—and all of the Puget Sound region, for that matter—should be careful with anything that could cause a fire.”