Burning Regulations

To have predictable and consistent burn bans, Cowlitz, Clark, and
Skamania counties jointly implement a policy to ban outdoor burning
from July 15 through Sept. 30 each year.  

Emergency Burn Ban In Effect

Effective 12:01 AM Monday, April 26, 2021, Cowlitz County, in cooperation with neighboring Counties, will be enacting restrictions on outdoor burning.  Lack of precipitation, current dry conditions, and multiple wildland brush fires have prompted this decision.  The emergency burn ban will be in place temporarily until the conditions improve but is expected to remain in effect until 12:01 AM Monday, April 26th.  All land clearing, residential, and silvicultural burning will be restricted until further notice.  The Cowlitz County Fire Marshall is rescinding all burn permits issued prior to the burn ban; they can be reissued or extended when the ban is lifted.

Please see the Emergency Burn Ban Press Release for more guidelines on what is and is not allowed.

Burn Barrels

are not allowed in Washington State.

Recreational Fires

are defined as a maximum size of 3’x3’x2’ and consisting of only fire wood or charcoal are allowed countywide as long as conditions are safe and the fire is continually attended.

Recreational campfires

are allowed if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as those typically found in local, county, and state parks and in commercial campgrounds, provided no seasonal burn bans are in effect by local or state agencies at the time of the burning.

Campfires on Private Land

are permitted with the landowner’s permission if built in the following approved manner: - In a metal, stone or masonry lined fire pit such as those seen in approved campgrounds

- May not exceed 3 feet in diameter

- Located a minimum of 25 feet from any structure or combustible materials including overhead fuels

Campfires must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16-years old with the ability and tools to extinguish the fire, such as a shovel and either five gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.

Be a good neighbor.

Recreational fires may not cause a smoke or odor nuisance tosurrounding properties and may be subject to seasonal fire safety burn bans.

Fires are not to be left unattended at any time.

Please remember to completely extinguish campfires by pouring water or moist soil in them and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch. The use of self-contained camp stoves is encouraged as an alternative.

Open burning regulations are established by Washington state law and enforced through the Southwest Clean Air Agency in southwest Washington.

With the exception of recreational fires, open burning is not allowed within Kelso and Longview city limits and suburban areas. The expanded burn ban areas are shown on the attached maps. These maps can be viewed with Adobe Acrobat.


Castle Rock Burn Areas Map

Longview and Kelso Burn Areas Map

Woodland Burn Areas Map

Open Burning other than recreational fires is allowed by permit outside the above burn ban areas. Permits for general burning (10’ maximum pile diameter) may be printed here, or obtained from your local Fire Department. There are no fees for these permits, but they must be completed and kept available on site while burning. Permits for larger piles are issued through Department of Natural Resources.


 All burn permits are rescinded during the countywide burn ban July 15th  through September 30th.