Fire Marshal Issues Restrictions on Outdoor Recreational Fires

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:36 p.m.

Due to the hot, dry conditions, specified outdoor recreational fires (in ground campfires, fire bowls and fire pits) are prohibited in the City of Spokane effective today, July 17, 2014, by order of the Spokane City Fire Marshal. The restriction will continue until further notice; such restrictions are subject to change depending on conditions.

Citizens may still use backyard barbecues, portable outdoor fireplaces or other patio/deck warmers, provided the appliance has a spark arrester and a chimney, approved fuel is used and weather conditions support safe recreational fires. Approved fuels include seasoned (clean/dry) firewood, briquettes, propane, or natural gas.

Here are other requirements for outdoor fires:

  • Recreational fires may be in designated areas or on private property with owner approval.
  • Keep it small - Fires must not exceed a fuel area of 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
  • Fires must be attended by a responsible adult (knowledgeable in the use of the fire extinguishing equipment) at all times.
  • Approved fire extinguishing equipment must be on hand and ready for use.
    • Equipment can include a garden hose, dirt, sand, bucket, shovel, or a minimum 4A rated portable fire extinguisher.
  • Adequate clearance from combustibles must exist (25 feet in general).
    • For one and two-family dwellings, follow the device manufacturer’s instructions for clearance. Be safe and use good judgment.
    • For multi-family dwellings, use at least a 15-foot clearance from combustibles and structures. Be safe and use good judgment.
  • Fires must not present a health hazard or nuisance to others.
  • Safe wind conditions (no more than 7 mph) must be present.
  • A Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency “green light” indication for air quality must be present.
  • Ash and charcoal remnants must be safely disposed of in noncombustible waste containers.

Unsafe or otherwise restricted fires will be required to be extinguished. Failure to comply with the burning restrictions could have serious consequences. A person who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue unauthorized burning when ordered to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor. That person can face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Please see the attached for additional information.