Open Burning Complaints

The Whatcom County Fire Marshal's Office partners with the Northwest Clean Air Agency to educate and enforce the outdoor burning rules and laws for Whatcom County.

In the State of Washington, "...It is unlawful for any person to cause or allow outdoor burning that causes an emission of smoke or any other air contaminant that is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of any person, that causes damage to property or business, or that causes a nuisance." (WAC 173-425-050 (4)) A nuisance is defined as: "an emission of smoke or any other air contaminant that unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of the property upon which it is deposited." (WAC 173-425-030 (14))

Any fire that is deemed a nuisance or is a fire/life safety hazard may be extinguished by the fire department, under authority of the International Fire Code, adopted by Washington State and Whatcom County.

If you have an outdoor burning complaint that is currently occurring in unincorporated Whatcom County, please dial 911 and report an outdoor burning violation due to a nuisance or fire hazard. You may also choose to follow up with a fire inspector during normal business hours at (360) 778-5900.

If you have an outdoor burning complaint that is not actively occurring, but is located in unincorporated Whatcom County, please contact the Fire Marshal's Office during normal business hours at (360) 778-5900 to speak with a fire inspector about methods to remedy the situation.

*NOTE: If you have a smoke complaint originating from an indoor appliance, such as a wood stove or fireplace, please contact the Northwest Clean Air Agency directly at (360) 428-1617.