King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for unincorporated King County. The ban prohibits 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 King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. King County’s ban is in coordination with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Marshals, which extends the ban into cities.
During a Stage 2 burn ban, any outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal is prohibited. Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or discontinue when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with, up to and including, a misdemeanor.
Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbecues and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices, including those that rely on charcoal, natural gas or propane gas, are also allowed. The fire marshal asks residents to use caution when disposing of charcoal remains.
Extended periods of abnormally high temperatures have increased the fuel load in the vegetation in local communities. The large fire in Oregon and other fires in Washington have stretched wildfire fighting resources throughout the region.
The fire marshal said if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. The county asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember that this is a demanding time for first responders.