Outdoor burning of residential materials in Thurston County is prohibited July 15 through October 15 each year. This seasonal prohibition, crafted jointly by local fire agencies and Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), has helped curtail wildfires in the county during the high fire danger period.
Where burning is allowed now allowed, a residential permit is required in Thurston County (available here). Outdoor burning is prohibited year-round for residents within the cities of Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey, as well as for county residents within the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary.
The restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer and early autumn has resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past couple years, according to fire officials.
Just because you can burn yard waste doesn’t mean you should.
Burning at any time adds to the air pollution levels in your local neighborhood, and residents are encouraged to seek alternatives to burning throughout the year.
Residents must remember the only material they may legally burn is natural vegetation gathered on site. State law prohibits the burning of garbage and home-repair debris. Burn barrels of any kind are also prohibited by state law.
Unregulated outdoor burning of any kind can contribute to poor air quality, but burning garbage and other debris—even scraps of milled wood products—is particularly problematic. Most household garbage contains a great deal of plastics, chemicals, coatings and chemically treated materials. When burned, this garbage and waste material releases toxic fumes and particles into the air. This pollution can cause disease ranging from eye and respiratory irritation to potential cancers.