“We are in a full burn ban,” says local fire chief Christopher Carleton.
Dry conditions and increased fire danger call for further burn restrictions, and as of July 7, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s office prohibited all open burning in unincorporated areas of Whatcom County until further notice.
The ban includes burning yard debris, land clearing fires and all recreational fires. While the ban initially covered charcoal barbecues as well, Carleton said the prohibition was modified to allow small charcoal barbecues. “A charcoal or propane barbecue on your deck or patio, regular cooking, is not a problem,” Carleton said. The use of propane stoves or barbecues or charcoal barbecues at private residences must be over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation and structures.
Charcoal fires in a fire pit are prohibited, but propane fire pits without solid wood burning material will still be allowed. Wood burning fire pits, charcoal pits or similar enclosures with grates or screens are not considered barbecues and not allowed.
“Getting rid of the charcoal from a barbecue is a different educational issue,” Carleton said.
“Don’t dump it in your yard. You need to put it in a metal closed container and soak it down.”