Stock photo

Stock photo

Eastside burn ban implemented June 15

The ban will be effective through Sept. 30.

Areas of King County served by Eastside Fire and Rescue are now under an annual burning moratorium that began June 15.

The moratorium prohibits certain burning activities and requires permits for others. Much of the fire agency’s region is in the wildland-urban interface, where towns and cities bump up against forests. For the past several summers, fire conditions peaked sooner than historical averages and “the county wants to get ahead of the situation to reduce the risk of wildfires and associated poor air quality,” according to a press release from Eastside Fire and Rescue.

The moratorium lasts until Sept. 30. Free permits are required for outdoor cooking or campfires. They can be obtained online from Eastside Fire and Rescue. Cooking and campfires are also subject to Puget Sound Clean Air Agency burn bans, but as of June 29, none had been issued for King County.

Cooking and campfires must use only dry seasoned wood. These fires must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. Both kinds of fires need to be contained in a barbecue pit, fire ring or approved devices such as a manufactured portable fireplace.

Propane, natural gas and charcoal fires don’t require a permit. Land clear burning is permanently banned in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Parts of the Pacific Northwest have an above average risk of large fires this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, which released its June through September outlook on June 1. This includes southwestern Oregon in June. But in July and August, significant portions of Washington will be at an elevated wildfire risk.

Wildfire activity in Oregon and Washington has been low since May because of cool and moist weather.

Across the West Coast, mountain snowpack melt rates accelerated during the first half of May. By mid-month, most basins had 40 percent or less than average snowpack.

As of June 29, there were no large, active wildfires in Washington state. Several were burning in California, Nevada and Arizona.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has been grappling with how to fight wildfires amid the coronavirus pandemic. In previous reporting, department leadership was planning on using aircraft more heavily, which are in high demand during fire season.

Tips for protecting homes during wildfire season include removing dead plants for 30 feet around homes, and cleaning gutters and roofs. Branches should be pruned if they overhang or touch houses. Fire resistant plants can also be placed in the garden.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy photo
State demanded more drop boxes, and now it must pay for them

A King County judge says a law requiring more ballot boxes was an illegal unfunded mandate.

The 5th Legislative District includes Snoqualmie, North Bend, Issaquah, Renton and Maple Valley. Courtesy image
5th District candidates talk policing, the economy and mental health

The SnoValley Chamber of Commerce held a candidates forum on Oct. 22.

North Bend could have its own marijuana store soon.
North Bend pot shop gets public hearing on Nov. 17

A proposal from a private developer seeking to build a marijuana store… Continue reading

King County 2020 unemployment numbers. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
Boeing, coronavirus likely to impact King County economy

Unemployment remained high in September.

File photo
A 212-unit development is slated for the Dahlgren property, more commonly known as the “mule pasture.”
North Bend’s water war heats up as construction is set to begin

Who gets to supply water to a 212-unit housing complex is at the heart of the skirmish.

In this November 2019 photo, Lucy Adams, Tim Takechi, Craig Ewing and Renee Lystad rehearse for VCS's production of "A Christmas Carol." File photo
Valley Center Stage eyes holiday production, new location

The community theater is hoping to put on a virtual Christmas production this year.

Homeless man lying on the bench. File photo
Cities opting out of county homelessness tax took $17 million with them

It leaves the county with roughly $50 million a year to bond against.

In this February 2020 photo, flood waters inundate Carnation and close Tolt Hill Road. File photo
Flood projects in the valley

Highlights from the list of improvements.

Some cool deer near Preston on Oct. 6. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
News around the Valley: Ballots, oil, weather, water

Voters in the Snoqualmie Valley should have received their ballots for the election.

Most Read