Firefighters: Up to $10k fine if you break outdoor fire rules
YAKIMA, Wash.- This time of year fire crews start to respond to several emergencies regarding people starting illegal outdoor fires. One restriction, and a common one people don't realize, is large bonfires.
City rules require your fire pit to be three feet by three feet with a cover on it. Smoke from your fire could also get you a fine, even if the fire follows the legal guidelines.
"If your smoke from your fire is actually impeding your neighbor, they could actually file a complaint and you could be fined for that. So you really need to look at the regulations before you decided that you are going to burn something," said Public Information Officer Jeff Pfaff.
Pfaff says they respond to several calls about people burning garbage in their backyard, a common habit that was done decades ago that can now cost you a up to a $10,000 fine.
"Usually spring people are trying to clean up their yard so they start burning stuff. Years ago that was okay to burn garbage and things but it is not today," said Pfaff.
In some situations, fires aren't always something you can avoid. If a fire does start at your home, Pfaff recommends you having two key emergency items near you.
"Try and make sure you go a garden hose close by so you can stop it if something does drastically happen. The other is to try and have a fire extinguisher or a shovel," said Pfaff.
After a dry winter, Pffaf says this fire season could be busy one, and urges the community to be very careful where you start your fires.
"Do everything you can right now to clean up your yard, and more sure you have debris away from edge of the house because it's going to be a long summer," said Pfaff.