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Windblown Tumbleweed Burning
Pasco Fire Department Burn Line: 544-3098


What does this mean?

This is outdoor burning to dispose of dry plants (typically Russian Thistle and Tumble Mustard) that have been broken off and rolled about by the wind.

This information is intended to clarify when and where windblown tumbleweed burning can or cannot be conducted.  Windblown tumbleweed burning is exempt from burn permits during a burn day.  Common sense safety rules do apply.  Alternative means or managing tumbleweeds is encouraged.

Tumbleweeds that are anchored in the soil and where wind has not naturally detached them are subject to either land clearing or weed abatement permits.

Land clearing and weed abatement burning will not be allowed within the City of Pasco without a special permit or where there are reasonable alternatives.  Land clearing or weed abatement debris cannot be hauled from an area where burning is prohibited to an area where burning is allowed. 

GENERAL BURNING RULES FOR WINDBLOWN TUMBLEWEEDS

While windblown tumbleweed burning is allowed without a permit there are still rules that must be followed and other common sense rules should be followed:

Rules that must be followed:

  • The fire must not include any prohibited materials.  (See PROHIBITED MATERIALS section).
  • The fire must not include vegetative materials hauled from another property in an area where burning is prohibited.
  • No windblown tumbleweed fire may be ignited and fires must be extinguished during an emergency burn ban in a geographical area where:

v  The Washington State Dept. of Ecology or the City of Pasco has declared a period of impaired air quality or

v  Appropriate fire protection authorities have declared a ban because of high fire danger.

  • Fires are considered unlawful outdoor burning if they cause any or all of the following effects

v  Detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of any person.

v  Causes damage to property or business.

v  Causes a nuisance.

  • If an outdoor container (e.g. burn barrel) is used for burning vegetation, it must:

v  Be constructed of concrete or masonry.

v  Have a completely enclosed combustion chamber.

Be equipped with a permanently attached spark arrester constructed of iron, heavy wire mesh, or other noncombustible material with openings not larger than 1/2 inch.

  • A person capable of extinguishing the fire must attend it at all times, and the fire must be extinguished before leaving it.
  • No fires are to be within fifty feet of structures.  This is particularly important because tumbleweeds burn fast and hot.
  • Permission from a landowner, or owner’s designated representative, must be obtained before starting an outdoor fire on someone else’s property. 


Other common sense rules, which you are not required to follow, but it is recommended that you should follow:


  • Try to restrict pile size to less than 2 cubic yards.  This is particularly important because tumbleweeds burn fast and hot.  Building a smaller fire and carefully feed it.
  • If multiple piles are being burned, then burn only one pile at a time and let each pile burn out and completely extinguish it before lighting another.  Keep piles separated sufficiently to avoid accidentally igniting several piles at once.


PROHIBITED MATERIALS


Generally, only vegetative material may be burned when burning for tumbleweed disposal or any outdoor fire.  The following materials may not be burned in any outdoor fire:  garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paints, rubber products, plastics, paper (other than what is necessary to start a fire), cardboard, treated wood, construction/demolition debris, metal, or any substance (other than natural vegetation) that normally releases toxic emissions, dense smoke, or obnoxious odors when burned.

 ALTERNATIVES

Alternatives to burning tumbleweeds are encouraged although tumbleweed burning is generally exempt. Alternatives to burning include:

  • On-site burial
  • Hauling to an approved landfill
  • Large amounts of tumbleweed can be avoided if vegetative growth is controlled and eliminated by mowing, herbicide application, or other means of control.  It is especially important to prevent tumbleweed growth to be a good neighbor and not allow tumbleweeds to blow from your property onto other’s property.

City of Pasco City Hall
525 N. Third Ave.
Pasco, WA 99301
Ph: (509) 544-3080
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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