Cowlitz County Outdoor Burning Information

Recreational Fires

Recreational fires under 3'x3'x2' are still allowed in all of Cowlitz County without a permit if they are at least 50 feet from any structure. Only charcoal or seasoned firewood (no lumber) may be used as fuel for a recreational fire. Recreational fires must be used solely for recreational purposes and may not be used for disposal of yard debris or any other material. Recreational fires may not cause a smoke or odor nuisance to surrounding properties and may be subject to seasonal fire safety burn bans.

Residential Burning (Outside the no-burn boundaries)

As of January 1, 2007 residential burning has been banned in the urban growth areas of Castle Rock and Woodland. Residential burning is already banned within the Longview/Kelso No Burn Area. Outside of these areas, single piles under 4'x4'x3' do not need a permit to burn during daylight hours (natural vegetation only). For a list of general requirements or to determine if you are outside of the no burn areas, call SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709.

Piles larger than 4'x4'x3' but smaller than 10'x10'x6' outside the no burn areas need a written permit. These free permits can be picked up at local fire stations, mailed to you by calling SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709, or you can download a copy at Burning Permit.

Land Clearing Burning (Outside the no-burn boundaries)

As of January 1, 2007 land clearing burning has been banned within the Longview/Kelso no burn area, urban growth areas of Castle Rock and Woodland, and all other high density areas.

Outside the no burn areas, burn piles larger than 10'x10'x6' require a land clearing burn permit from SWCAA. There is a $100.00 fee. The burn permit application can be down loaded at Burning Permit and printed out. You may then mail the completed application with the fee to SWCAA or you may call SWCAA at 1-800-633-0709 to schedule an office visit and obtain the permit the day of your appointment. Payment may be made by way of check, cash, money order, or card.

Fire Safety Burn Bans

An annual Fire Safety Burn Ban from July 15 through September 30 prohibits residential and land clearing burning throughout Cowlitz County to protect public safety. This Fire Safety Burn Ban may extend beyond these dates by fire marshal recommendation. Outdoor burning is prohibited within the permanent No Burn Areas year-round, regardless of the Fire Safety Burn Ban. The pre-designated Fire Safety Burn Ban and aggressive complaint and enforcement program are designed to promote clean air, good health and reduced fire danger for everyone.

Agricultural Burning

To qualify for agricultural burning inside the no-burn boundaries you must have filed a "Schedule F" with your federal income tax. Orchard prunings alone do not qualify for an agricultural burn and other restrictions apply (WAC 173-430). Call SWCAA for detailed information, forms and possible fees. For more information about this program, click here.

Silvicultural Burning

For all silvicultural/forest practice burning call the Pacific Cascades Region of the Department of Natural Resources at 360-577-2025. There is a permit fee.