In recent years, outdoor fire pits have become popular with many homeowners. There is sometimes confusion regarding fire pit regulations in communities, and Spokane, Washington is no exception. Outdoor burning has been banned in Spokane since May, 2009; however, burning in fire pits and recreational fires are still allowed with some exceptions, as of May, 2011.
Fire Pit Regulations in Spokane County
Burning in outdoor fire pits is permitted in Spokane, provided the fire is no higher than 2 feet and no larger than 3 feet in diameter. Fire pits may not be used to dispose of garbage or other items and may only be fueled by untreated wood, propane, charcoal or natural gas. The fire also must be kept at least 25 feet away from any buildings and must be attended at all times by somebody able to extinguish it. A fire in a fire pit also must be completely extinguished before the user leaves the pit unattended.
Burning in Spokane
There are some exceptions to Spokane's ban on outdoor burning of yard debris. Residents of Fire Districts 2, 5, 11 and 12 may be eligible to receive a burn permit. Also, homeowners who reside outside of an urban growth boundary in the Spokane area may be able to receive a permit to burn natural vegetation from the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Alternatives to Outdoor Burning
Alternatives to outdoor burning in Spokane include chipping, composting, curbside pickup and hauling. Chipping yard debris into mulch can help reduce yard debris without burning, while composting yard debris is popular with gardeners. Residents may also use their curbside recycling service to collect yard debris or haul it to a transfer station themselves.
Temporary Burn Bans
If you plan to use a fire pit in Spokane, check first to see if any temporary burning bans are in effect. Outdoor burning may be restricted due to air quality or fire danger. Call the Burn Info Line at 509-477-4710.