Brush fire sparked by burn barrel; yes, they are illegal!

Burn barrels are illegal in Washington

Last week, a homeowner on Fox Island was using his burn barrel, which is illegal in the state of Washington. As reported on KOMO News, he was burning Monday night and thought he put out the fire before going into his house. But that wasn’t the case; it was still smoldering.

The next morning, the homeowner woke to a fire that had escaped his burn barrel. He called 911, and firefighters were called to the scene. They battled a 5-acre blaze through the afternoon. Because the fire was burning poison oak, homeowners were asked to stay inside and close their windows.

Nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by carelessness. Most parts of Washington State are currently vulnerable to wildfire.

The use of burn barrels in Washington is illegal, and outdoor burning is a leading cause for wildfire ignitions across Washington.

Because those who still use burn barrels are likely to do so near other homes, the fire risks to people and property are high. Smoke from burn barrels also contributes to poor air quality and pollution.