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Regulatory Handbook -> Air Quality Permits -> Burn Permit

Burn Permit

(Silvicultural Burning)

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates outdoor burning on all state and private lands that it protects from fire. DNR also helps protect air quality through its smoke management plan. A written burning permit is required year round on land protected by DNR with the exception of "rule burns" (small pile burns that meet specific criteria as defined in WAC 332-24-211). To determine whether a burn permit is required from DNR or if a proposed burn meets the criteria of a rule burn, contact a DNR Regional Office. Smoke Management Plans are required for larger burns. A permit may not be issued and alternative disposal should be considered.
Who Issues this Permit?
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
What Activities Require this Permit?
A permit is required when you plan to burn piled forest material.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
Fees start at $105.50 for less than one hundred tons of consumable debris. For burns one hundred tons and greater of consumable debris, see the burn fee schedule located at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/wildfire/outdoor-burning/burn-permits.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application is online and can be accessed at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/wildfire/outdoor-burning/burn-permits.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
DNR will evaluate your application and may contact you to clarify application responses, obtain additional information, and/or to schedule a site visit. Upon approval of the application, DNR will mail a permit to you for signature or you can schedule an office visit to obtain your permit.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
Burn permits are site specific to the proposed burn area and are conditioned to address fire danger, potential of escape, potential smoke impacts, etc.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
Processing times for individual burn permits are typically within a two-week timeframe, once a completed application is received. DNR’s Silvicultural Burning Permit program is designed around the responsibility to the citizens of Washington State for minimizing risks of wildfire escape and human health impacts from smoke. Each burn site is a potentially unique set of fire danger circumstances. DNR field staff that process these permits are heavily involved in DNR’s wildfire suppression mission. When “the fire bell rings” they can be understandably away from their normal burn permit duty for extended periods of time.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Submit your application to your nearest DNR Regional Office: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/about/dnr-regions-and-districts.
How Long is my Permit Valid?
Your permit will be valid for one year from its validation date for less than or equal to 100 tons. Your permit will be valid for two years from its validation date for more than 100 tons.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
There is no formal process for issuance or denial of silvicultural burn permits by DNR. As per RCW 76.04.205(4), DNR can refuse, revoke, or postpone an application.
Notes / Comments:
Call 1-800-323-BURN or visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protection/firedanger/ for information regarding current burn bans in your area.
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: Unable to report agency Permit Timeliness results
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: Unable to report agency Permit Timeliness results

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 6
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 194

(Summary results based on 1576 submittals in 2020)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Helpdesk phone: Regional Directory
Statewide Contact:
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Resource Protection Division
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 47037
Olympia, WA 98504-7037
Telephone: (360) 902-1300
Website: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/
* Permit information last updated 2/8/2018
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