By the time some readers open this newspaper Wednesday, Island County will already be in a Type I burn ban, which goes into effect at noon on June 30.
Unless something changes, the current burn ban doesn’t affect Fourth of July pyrotechnics.
The burn ban restricts all outdoor burning in the entire county, except for recreational fires in approved fire pits. Barbecue grills using propane or charcoal briquettes, or self-contained camp stoves, are also permitted.
Recreational fires must be less than three feet in diameter and cannot be more than two feet tall. The fire pit must be cleared of all combustible material within a 10-foot radius and someone must monitor the fire at all times. There must be a water source nearby to put out the fire, such as a hose or a five-gallon bucket full of water.
Temperatures soared in Western Washington last weekend and into this week, drying out the environment and atmosphere, and increasing the fire danger.
The Island County sheriff, who also acts as the county’s fire marshal, said the burn ban will continue until further notice.
Fireworks are not permitted in Type II burns bans and beyond. Fireworks are allowed in unincorporated areas of Island County July 3-5 from 9 a.m.-11 p.m., except on Independence Day when revelers can light up the sky until midnight.
Coupeville residents are allowed to light off fireworks on July 4 only from 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Oak Harbor residents have the most opportunities to dazzle their neighbors. Fireworks are currently permitted in the city from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. through July 5. Revelers get an extra hour on the holiday to set off fireworks, with the deadline extended until midnight on July 4.
Deception Pass, Fort Casey, Fort Ebey and Joseph Whidbey state parks all issued a level three burn ban on June 30. Self-contained camping stoves or portable fire pits that use propane are allowed, but no charcoal or wood fires are allowed.