Extreme burn ban in effect: what to know about your summer campfires

TRI-CITES, Wash. — Air quality continues to stay in moderate levels around the Tri-Cities, but burn bans are still in effect. What exactly does that mean?

“The only things that are allowed are wood stoves, or barbecues,” said John Lyle, Air Quality Specialist with Benton Clean Air Agency (BCAA). “And barbecues would mean gas, propane, charcoal, or pellet.”

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This can change summer barbecue plans. Wood fires are only allowed in wood stoves, according to the BCAA. Recreational campfires or bonfires with wood as a primary fuel source are currently banned. Clearing or disposing of any yard debris through burning is banned as well.

The fines for violating the burn ban? Up to $10,000 per offense, per day. The fines vary on a multitude of factors, but do increase with repeat offenses.

For outdoor burning, there are specific rules when it comes to burning yard waste. You must be in a location outside the Urban Growth Area, and even then, burning is only allowed on a burn day.  To learn more about burn days, you can visit the BCAA website here.

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