With hot weather comes summer rules and regulations.
A burn ban will go into effect 8 a.m. Thursday (July 12) for residents of unincorporated Pierce County ahead of a stretch of dry weather.
County spokeswoman Sarah Foster said the ban will remain until significant weather changes drastically lower the chances of wildfires. Those changes likely won't come until fall.
"Not only is it to keep Pierce County residents safe but should our fire crews be needed east of the mountains, they are available," Foster said.
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Those looking forward to time around the fire pit need not worry. The ban applies to land clearing and the burning of yard debris, but small recreational fires in fire pits at campgrounds or on personal property are allowed.
Gas and propane stoves and barbeques also are permitted during the ban.
While recreational fires are allowed, they are expected to meet certain parameters. The fires must be in a metal or concrete pit, be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and be attended at all times.
The county also requires the fires be in a spot free of vegetation 10 feet in a horizontal direction, 25 feet from structures and have a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches. Winds must be less than 5 miles per hour at the time of the burn.
Residents with a approved burn permit from the state Department of Natural Resources or those with property in the jurisdiction of the agency should call 1-800-323-BURN for further information.
Temperatures are expected to climb into the 80s by Thursday, reaching as high as 89 within a week.
"The most important thing with outdoor burning, even in those areas that fires are allowed, we really want people to be extremely careful with fire," Foster said. "People should follow all the rules for their jurisdiction and keeping recreational fires that are allowed small. Everything that people can do to keep those wildfires from starting makes life better."
Meredith Spelbring: firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-597-8509