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Burn Restrictions

Current restrictions on outdoor burning:

Effective Friday, June 30, local fire marshals and city/county officials have restricted outdoor burning until further notice. Unauthorized open burning and unauthorized recreational fires are restricted unless otherwise permitted by law enforcement or an authorized agency.  

Recreational fires using wood or charcoal are not allowed unless equipped with a chimney or spark arrestor. Review this FLYER for photos of devices that are allowed/not allowed from Spokane Valley Fire Department and applicable countywide.

Effective Friday, September 29: DNR is allowing permit burns on their lands in Spokane County. Rule burns are still prohibited. Local fire district burning restrictions are still in effect. Burning is prohibited in areas under local fire district jurisdiction or joint fire district/DNR jurisdiction.DNR’s webpage

Effective Friday, September 22: DNR is allowing permit burns in their Foothills FDRA (northern portion of Spokane County). Link to map

Current Status
In Effect

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Understanding burn restrictions

Spokane Clean Air, local fire protection agencies, and County officials may issue temporary restrictions on burning for different purposes, outlined below. We work together to communicate current burn restrictions to area residents.

Air Quality versus Fire Safety Restrictions

Air quality-based restrictions are issued and enforced by Spokane Clean Air when fine particle pollution (PM2.5) is rising or is already elevated. These restrictions on wood heating and outdoor burning are most often issued during fall/winter, but can be issued other times of year.

Fire safety restrictions can be placed on outdoor burning by fire protection agencies and County officials. Restrictions are typically in place during summer and into fall. Spokane Clean Air does not issue restrictions based on fire risk, but we can enforce the restrictions. For more information on fire safety burn restrictions, contact your county or fire department fire marshal.

Air Quality Burn Restrictions

There are two stages of temporary restrictions on burning:

Stage 1 restrictions are initiated when fine particle pollution is rising and expected to continue to rise based on current and forecasted weather conditions. During a Stage 1:

  • No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified fireplace inserts unless this is your only adequate source of heat and you have an approved exemption from Spokane Clean Air.* Restrictions typically apply to the Spokane County Smoke Control Zone (map in next section) but can be extended countywide.
  • All outdoor burning of solid fuel (e.g. wood, charcoal) is prohibited countywide.

Stage 2 restrictions are initiated when fine particle pollution levels reach a trigger value set by state law.

  • No burning is allowed in ANY wood burning device, unless this is your only adequate source of heat and you have an approved exemption from Spokane Clean Air.* Restrictions typically apply to the Spokane County Smoke Control Zone (map in next section) but can be extended countywide.
  • All outdoor burning of solid waste (e.g. wood, charcoal) is prohibited in Spokane County

*Excess visible smoke is never allowed. Learn more about this and other wood heating requirements here.

Wood Heat Exemptions

If you do not have an adequate source of heat, you may apply for a seasonal exemption. Garages, outbuildings, etc., do not qualify for exemptions.

Please apply before the start of the heating season. To qualify for an exemption, one or more or these situations must apply:

  • You have no adequate source of heat. Residence originally constructed with wood heating device as primary source of heat.
  • Your income qualifies for energy assistance per SNAP.
  • Your primary heat system is temporarily inoperable and being repaired. 

If a burn restriction is in effect and you have not applied for an exemption, you may qualify for a one-time, 10-day temporary exemption. There is no fee for this temporary exemption but it is limited to one per property address, including rentals. It is designed to provide you with 10 consecutive days to apply for one of the three seasonal exemptions listed above.

To apply please call Spokane Clean Air at 509-477-4727 during office hours (Mon–Fri., 8 am – 4:30 pm) If it is outside of office hours (evenings/weekends) please still call the phone number and leave your name, phone number and address on the recording.

Whether you heat regularly with wood or just have a fire occasionally, be aware of the additional wood burning requirements.

Smoke Control Zone

Wood heating restrictions are typically issued for the Smoke Control Zone (map below), although they can be extended countywide if conditions dictate. If an air pollution episode is declared by the state, a restriction can extend throughout the region or state.

The Smoke Control Zone represents the more concentrated residential and commercial areas of the County, areas where air pollution levels are highest due to the density of homes and businesses and air flow patterns.

Outdoor burn restrictions apply countywide when Spokane Clean Air issues a Stage 1/Yellow or Stage 2/Red Impaired Air Quality burn restrictions.

The boundaries of the Smoke Control Zone are roughly:

City of Spokane

North to Owens Road

Spokane Valley to Idaho border

South to Gibbs Road

West to Hayford Road

If you live close to the boundary lines, call us at 509-477-4727 during normal business hours, and we can assist you by using a more detailed map.