Outdoor Burning Regulations

It is important to the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and our community that everyone understands the laws regulating burning.  

In January of 2001, Bainbridge Island amended City Ordinances to comply with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Clean Air Act.  The Clean Air Act was imposed to reduce contaminants in the air that are produced from burning.  These contaminants can cause severe respiratory distress for people with heart or lung problems.  The burn ban, under Washington State Law, makes all outdoor burning on Bainbridge Island illegal, with minor exceptions.  These exceptions include: recreational fires, permitted ceremonial fires, and permitted agricultural fires.

Recreational Fire 

A recreational fire can easily be described as a fire for the purpose of cooking or when camping. The fuel for this type of fire must be either standard cut, untreated firewood, charcoal briquettes, or propane. The size of a recreational fire is limited to no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height and must be in an approved device such as a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or barbeque. Under no circumstances can this type of fire be used to dispose of residential yard vegetation, waste, or garbage. In addition, the fire must be 25 feet from any structure or combustible material. Persons having a recreational fire should have a method on hand to immediately extinguish the fire, such as a charged garden hose or shovel.  Fires must be attended at all times and must be fully extinguished before leaving them. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!

  • On Bainbridge Island, recreational fires are never allowed on BI Parks District property (including the beach) with exception of:
    • Fay Bainbridge State Park- in designated campground fire rings & BBQs only
    • Camp Yeomalt- in fire ring only
    • Battle Point Park- in covered picnic area fire ring and BBQs only
  • Recreational fires are allowed on private property and the City of Bainbridge Island owned public beaches. All such recreational fires must adhere to the regulations above.
  • During a Phase II Burn Ban, all outdoor burning (including recreational fires) is prohibited.  

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Ceremonial Fire

A ceremonial fire is a special purpose bonfire or cooking fire larger than a "recreational fire". This type of fire requires a permit issued by the fire department. Ceremonial fires cannot be used to burn yard vegetation, waste or garbage, and must be located at least 50 feet from any structure.

Agricultural Fire

Agricultural burning means outdoor burning related to commercial agricultural activities under Chapter 173-430WAC, including, but not limited to, any incidental agricultural burning or agricultural burning for pest or disease control. Permits must be issued by the Fire Marshal's Office, and fires are subject to safety inspections.

Another type of burn ban is implemented by the fire departments throughout Kitsap County. This is generally done for safety reasons caused by dry weather conditions.  During these bans, all burning on Bainbridge Island, including recreational fires, ceremonial fires, and agricultural fires, is prohibited.
In addition to improving air quality on Bainbridge Island, the burn ban helps to reduce the possibility of accidental wildfires. Open burning can be a prime cause of wildfires.
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