Outdoor Burning

Burn Ban status:


Burn Bans

The Island County Sheriff serves as the Fire Marshal and decides when to start and end burn bans. Contact the Sheriff’s Office with questions about burn bans or visit Island County Environmental Health to learn about burn permits.

Under a Type 1 burn ban, recreational fires are allowed in approved firepits – solid enclosures at least 16 inches high, and no wider than 3 feet. Fires must be only charcoal or seasoned firewood. Barbecues, outdoor grilling and propane-fueled firepits are also allowed. Always keep a garden hose or 5-gallon bucket of water nearby. During a Type 1 burn ban, backyard burning of natural debris and/or brush piles is not allowed.

Under a Type 2 burn ban, no outdoor burning is allowed. Barbecue grills and self-contained cook stoves are allowed, with close supervision.

Why are burn bans in place for so long?
Several factors affect when to issue or end burn bans. Burn bans are issued when relative humidity is low; when trees, grasses or other combustibles are very dry; when the weather is hot and/or dry for an extended period of time; and when local resources are assigned to regional wildfires or other emergencies.

Burn bans typically end after humidity rises, after vegetation absorbs moisture and becomes less dry, after measurable rain accumulates, and as resources are no longer deployed to other emergencies.

A graphic talking about what ends a burn ban. No matter what anyone says, the correct answer is several inches of rain.

Burn Permits
Island County Environmental Health issues burn permits to county residents if there is NOT a burn ban currently in effect.

More Info
Visit the Island County website for information about specific types of burn permits, and a map of current active permits. For more information about current air quality conditions or state burn bans, visit the Department of Ecology website. 

Campfire safety

Recreational campfires 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high or smaller do not need a permit on Camano Island. Recreational campfires are allowed unless a Type 2 burn ban is in effect. Campfires must meet all the conditions below for safety:

  • Campfires or recreational fires can consist only of charcoal or firewood, and are for cooking or enjoyment.
  • The fire must be contained in an enclosure no larger than 3 feet across. The enclosure must be a minimum of 16 inches high and made of cement block, stones or #10 gauge steel.
    • If there is no enclosure, the fire must be contained within a firebreak (bare ground) and must equal the size of the fire.
  • Materials being burned must be kept lower than the sidewalls of the enclosure.
  • A charged garden hose or 2 five-gallon buckets of water must be on site.
  • A shovel or rake must be on site.
  • The fire must be 25 feet from any standing timber, structures, or power lines.
  • Tree branches must be cleared to the height of 15 feet above the enclosure.
  • One person age 16 or older who is capable of putting the fire out must be in attendance at all times.
  • You must get the landowner’s permission if the fire is not on your property. ​
  • You must completely extinguish the fire when you are done.

Find more campfire safety information online: https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety

Infographic of campfire safety

a panorama of a beach with orange sky

Beach fires

In general, beach fires are allowed in Island County – without a permit – on privately owned property.

Beach fires are NOT allowed if a Type 2 burn ban is in effect.

  • Beach fires must not exceed 3 feet in diameter. 
    • Best practice is to contain the fire within a deliberate fire pit constructed of stone, concrete or metal, that is a minimum of 16 inches tall, and well away from tall grass or other combustibles.
  • Fuel must be either charcoal, firewood, or pressure regulated wood. (No treated, painted, or processed lumber) 
  • Must remain 25 feet away from any structure or other combustible materials.  
  • No burning is allowed within large driftwood piles (no timber-size logs) 
  • Outdoor burning must cease when wind conditions exceed 7 MPH. 
  • Either two five gallon water buckets – or a charged garden hose OR a minimum 4A (10 lb)-rated fire extinguisher MUST be on site. 
  • You must have the land owner’s written permission for the beach fire. 
  • Fires must be attended at all times. Minimum age for the responsible party is 16 years old. 
  • Portable transportable outdoor metal fireplace devices must remain 15 feet away from any structure or other combustible materials. 
  • Fires that exceed a 3-foot diameter, or are for ceremonial or religious purposes, may require a permit from Island County Public Health.   
  • Fires must be fully extinguished, wet, and cold to the touch before you leave the beach.  

NOTE: Local community associations may impose their own restrictions on beach fires by means of community covenants. Beach fires are NOT permitted on Island County-owned beaches or at county-owned boat launches. State Park beaches may have additional guidelines restricting burning

Please do your research, and make sure you understand these safety guidelines before burning on the beach:


Fireworks are legal on Camano Island, on private property, or with property-owner permission. Firework use is not legal at state or county parks, on public roadways, or on any property where you don’t have landowner permission.

The Island County Board of Commissioners has authority to approve or restrict firework use in Island County. The Island County Sheriff’s Office enforces firework-related violations in Island County.

Firework sales for the Fourth are legal starting at noon June 28 through 9 p.m. July 5.
Firework discharge is only legal on July 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight; and July 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Firework sales for New Years are legal starting at noon December 27 through 11 p.m. December 30 & noon through 11 p.m. December 31
Firework discharge is only legal from 6 p.m. December 31 to 1 a.m. January 1.