Hot, dry weather has prompted the decision by most Western Washington counties, including King County.
King County on Saturday will join others around Washington that have adopted bans on most outdoor fires, an annual decision that coincides with the onset of hot, dry weather.
The county’s ban applies to all of its unincorporated areas, prohibiting outdoor burning except for small fires in established pits. The order was issued by the fire marshal because of recent dry conditions and the expectation of minimal rainfall in the near future, according to the county.
Many cities have their own burn bans, and the county is directing people to call their local fire departments for specific information. Thursday marked the hottest day of the year so far in the Seattle area, with an official high of 89 degrees. The National Weather Service expects highs to remain near or above 80 degrees through next Thursday, with no rainfall.
A ban is also in effect in most Western Washington counties, including Kitsap, Snohomish, Pierce, Mason, Skagit and Whatcom, according to the Washington Burn Ban website.
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In King, and most others, recreational fires must be less than 3 feet in diameter and completely contained in a metal or concrete fire pit. That pit is required to be in a clear spot at least 10 feet away from any vegetation on the ground and 25 feet away from structures. If a fire is built below trees, the overhanging branches must be at least 25 feet above it.
Additionally, the properly contained recreational fire must be attended at all times by someone who is alert and capable of extinguishing it immediately.