Residential burn season might extend beyond May 31

Burn season is currently open until the end of May. However, depending on fuel conditions and weather forecasts, San Juan County may extend the burn season into June for residential burn permits only. The Fire Marshal will send a notice to the listserv and post the end of the season online. Please watch for this at or the San Juan County homepage at

Open Burn Info

Outdoor Burning in San Juan County

Residential Burn Permits Outdoor burning is defined as burning of fire wood in approved camp fire sites or burning of yard waste at residential or commercial burns. There are three types of outdoor burning:

Camp Fires (also called Recreational Fires)are defined as fires that are burning clean dry firewood, (not yard waste,) in a fire ring or bowl that is no larger than two feet in diameter. Approved camp fires also must have a two-foot perimeter around them, resulting in a six-foot clear diameter area. Camp fires are allowed year round, except when a county burn ban is in effect, and require no permit. Note: county burning rules may conflict with state or private campground rules at certain times of year, if you are visiting San Juan County, please confirm the burning status that is in place at the location you are staying. Recreational fires must be fueled by clean, dry, natural wood. Refuse, plastic, painted wood, etc. cannot be burned, garbage burning is subject to fines.Burn barrels are not allowed at any time due to a prohibition by the State Department of Ecology.

Residential Fires are the burning of piles of brush and yard debris in piles no larger than 10 feet in diameter with a permit issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office. These permits may be obtained on the web by following this link or by visiting your local fire department’s main office from 9-4 Monday through Friday. Residential burn permits cost $20.00 and go on sale sometime in October and are valid until the 31st of May. Residential burning permits are designed to allow homeowners or caretakers of property to reduce the fuel load of a property or to dispose of cleared trees and vegetation by burning.

Other permits may be required for land clearing and tree cutting/thinning purposes. Note: some years an extension of 15-30 days may be granted for the burning season by the Fire Marshal’s Office when weather permits.

Commercial Fires are a designation for large piles of yard debris and trees to be burnt in piles of up to 40 feet in diameter with an excavator on site. This type of burn requires a permit with a fee of $250.00 and a site inspection by a representative of the San Juan County Fire Marshal’s Office. The representative will determine the size of the fire based on weather and terrain, a commercial permit is not guaranteed a 40-foot diameter burn. Commercial burn permits are typically utilized to reduce the amount of waste by large land clearing operations conducted by contractors while developing sites in San Juan County. The commercial burning season begins in October, on a date determined by the Fire Marshal’s office (typically the first Monday in October) and continues until May 31, permits are valid for 30 days from the time of purchase, no commercial burning is allowed after May 31.

Please note that Commercial and Residential burning is not allowed in Urban Growth Areas.


Sheriff's Log - San Juan Islands May 16-22: Dog left in car, speeding, loose horses,

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 176 calls between May 16-22, 2018 including this one: A deputy was dispatched to an Animal Problem in Friday Harbor. The dog owner was issued an infraction for Leaving animal in confined and in unattended motor vehicle.

The disposition codes are: ACT- active; ALS-Advanced life support; BLS - Basic Life Support; CIC - citation issued; CLO - closed; FAL - false; INA - inactive; NR - no report; UNF - unfounded; GOA - gone on arrival; FTA - failure to appear.


Recent Permit Applications: Vacation rentals, wireless communication facility, solar generation facility

Recent permits submitted to San Juan County Community Development Department include seven applications for vacation rental permits, one for a Community Water System Tank, one to construct a solar power generation facility, one for a wireless telecommunication facility and an application to divide 41 acres into four lots. 


FHHS Team wins ‘Best Project from a Newly Competing Team’ at WSU’s Alaska Airlines Imagine Tomorrow science fair competition

A team from Friday Harbor High School was selected as the “Best Project From a Newly Participating School” in the 2nd Congressional district at the Alaska Airlines Imagine Tomorrow Science Fair at Washington State University last weekend (May 18-20, 2018).

Ayla Ridwan, Kai Di Bona (Raylee Miniken was on the team but at softball district playoffs)


Port considering expanding Seaplane base to Jensen's Shipyard; restricting parking at Jacksons Beach

Port of Friday Harbor Commissioners will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 in the Port's meeting room below the San Juan Island Yacht Club on Front Street in Friday Harbor. The commissioners will discuss giving San Juan County a county road easement at Jacksons Beach so a county ordinance restricting parking to daylight hours can be created.


IOSA Offers Trainings in Oil Spill Response

Islands’ Oil Spill Association has received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for trainings over the next 17 months. This will boost IOSA’s training program for responders in oil spill response.

Sea Goose, Golden Eagle and boom: IOSA’s main response vessel the Sea Goose at the sinking of the Golden Eagle, where oil containment boom has been set around the boat to trap any oil that may leak.


Ferries sets sail on new summer service plan Plan outlines how fleet would navigate possible service disruptions

SEATTLE – What happens when a ferry goes out of service and there are no relief vessels available to take its place? How Washington State Ferries would handle this scenario and various other service disruptions are outlined in the Summer Season Service Plan released Monday, May 21, 2018. 

Ferry serving to the San Juan Islands. Matt Pranger photo

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