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Mar 31, 2021


March 31, 2021


Julie Happy

Spokane Valley Fire Department


Jamie McIntyre

Spokane Fire Department


Lisa Woodard

Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency


Mike Risley

Spokane County Fire District 10




Fire protection agencies and the local air quality agency are asking our community to review and follow outdoor burning rules due to an increase in calls for possible illegal burning. Now that spring and warmer weather conditions are here, many community members are resuming outdoor yard work and spring cleaning. To keep air quality clean and reduce area fire risk, area agencies throughout all of Spokane County want to remind community members that burning of garbage, including construction material, and the use of burn barrels is prohibited statewide. Burning outdoors, including yard debris, is not allowed in most areas of Spokane County.

Recreational fires are allowed at this time if requirements are met.

Outdoor burning regulations and requirements can be viewed at

 “In 2020, Spokane Clean Air logged 379 outdoor burning complaints. That was an increase of 21% from the previous year. With the arrival of spring and the nicer weather, we are beginning to see an uptick in smoke complaints again this year,” stated Scott K. Windsor, executive director for Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. “It’s important to remember, breathing smoke affects the respiratory system and is especially harmful to sensitive populations including youth, seniors, and those with underlying heart and respiratory conditions.”

Fire departments are experiencing an increase in call volume as well.

“Local air quality is imperative given the nature of all the conditions we are experiencing at this time. With the increase of smoke in the air, those with existing lung and heart complications are put at further risk.” Said Spokane Valley Fire Department Fire Marshal, Greg Rogers.  “Equally, First Responders and our community are being put at risk, with the large number of responses for illegal burning.”

“Every Spring Spokane Fire Department sees an increase in calls related to recreational burning in our jurisdiction,” said Spokane Fire Department Fire Marshal, Lance Dahl. “Warmer weather provides an opportunity to remind community members that it is never legal to burn yard waste, construction materials, or household debris. Be a good neighbor when burning recreationally.”

Recreational fires that get out-of-control are a common cause of wildfires caused by people. A person can be held financially responsible for the cost of fire department response and any property damage caused.

“Be Fire Smart” and follow the burning requirements:

  • Only burn clean, dry firewood or manufactured logs,
  • Recreational fires cannot be used for disposal of anything, including natural yard/garden vegetation,
  • Burn 25’ away from any structure, like a house, garage, or fence,
  • Have an extinguisher or charged water hose nearby,
  • Stay near the fire,
  • Fires can be no larger than 3’ wide and 2’ tall, and
  • Put out the fire completely!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local fire departments and first responders are working diligently to protect our health so that we can protect our community. Please help by considering voluntarily limiting wood burning (indoors and outdoors). Many people in our communities are also extremely concerned about their respiratory health. Before starting an indoor or outdoor burn of any type, please consider the potential impacts on neighbors and local emergency responders.

Typically, during July through September outdoor burning is restricted by fire officials due to fire danger. Always check current burn conditions before starting any fire. For information on current burn conditions, visit or call the Burn Status hotline at (509) 477-4710.


Did you Know?


  • You can sign up for a station tour. Great for small groups.
  • You should replace the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year.
  • Creating a defensible space with regards to wildfires could just save your home or property.

Media Contact

  • Julie Happy
  • 509-892-4155

Commissioner Patrick Burch

Board Member Since: July 18, 2016
Current term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Burch was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in July 2016 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. He became a volunteer member of the Department’s CERT Team in 2008 and later served as a team leader/member of Fire Corps.

“I admire the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s focus on continuous improvement. Our dedication to the community, fiscal responsibility and the fact that we are one of the few accredited fire departments in the State of Washington all make SVFD great!”

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Burch was elected by voters in November 2017.

Commissioner Mike Kester

Board Member Since: January 1, 2020
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2025

Commissioner Mike Kester was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners in November, 2019.

Commissioner Kester grew up in the Spokane area and has a deep appreciation for just how fortunate we all are to live in this beautiful area. He believes that being involved in this community is not something to take lightly.

His background includes joining the United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G) after high school and serving on a port firefighting boat doing search and rescue in Portland, Oregon.  After the Coast Guard, he attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management.  He then went on to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, serving in their Parks Department.

Spokane was the next step in his career. He  went to work for the Burlington Santa Fe Railroad and the next 22 years was spent as a conductor moving freight. Commissioner Kester  retired in 2010 after a workplace injury and now,  he and his wife enjoy making meals for World War II Veterans, helping out at the YMCA ,and providing meals for those in need.

“In the 25 years of being a resident of the Spokane Valley the professionalism of the SVFD has inspired me to take an active part in bettering our community. We have one of the best fire departments in the whole Pacific Northwest. My wife and I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. I have dedicated my life to keeping them safe.  I want to apply that dedication to our community.  Keeping us all safe is a goal we should all aspire to in one way or another. Communication within the department and with the public is, and always will be one of my primary goals.”

Commissioner John Guarisco

Board Member since: August 27, 2018
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2027

Commissioner Guarisco was appointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners in August 2018 to fill an unexpired term and has served continuously since that time. Commissioner Guarisco founded Marjoni Marketing in 2004 and in 2010 merged with MDI marketing. He then pursued Real Estate, earning his license and now, currently serves the greater Spokane area as a licensed Realtor. He has long been active in the community and has won numerous awards during his career including the Volunteer of the Year (2014) and the Community Caring Award (2010) from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Greater Spokane Valley Rotary Club and holds an AA degree from Spokane Falls Community College.

Note: As the individual appointed to this non-partisan position, Commissioner Guarisco was elected by voters in November 2019.

Commissioner Bill Anderson

Board Member since: January 1, 2000
Current six year term expires: December 31, 2023

Commissioner Anderson served our community as a Spokane Valley Fire Department firefighter for 29 years. Throughout his career, he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher and engineer before he was promoted and became an officer. He was Station Captain of Millwood Station 2 when he retired in 1999. During his years as firefighter, he was an active leader of Spokane Valley Firefighters Local 876 and served as a trustee on the Washington State Council of Firefighters for 25 years.

“It’s important to me that we continue the good service we’ve always given the people. We’ve accomplished a lot and are pulling in the same direction to get better. I’m very proud of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.”

Commissioner Brian Asmus

Board Member Since: June 14, 2021
Current term expires: 

Commissioner Brian Asmus was appointed to the Spokane Valley Fire Department Board of Fire Commissioners in 2021.

Commissioner Asmus is the former Liberty Lake Police Chief and current Director of Safety and Security at Central Valley School District (CVSD).

“Brian Asmus brings extensive Public Safety leadership experience, and a long history of being actively engaged in his community to his new role as a SVFD Commissioner,” said SVFD Fire Chief, Bryan Collins. “During his time as a Police Chief, Brian interacted with SVFD firefighters and administrators on a regular basis, making him very familiar with our structure, standing within our communities, as well as with many of our current SVFD board members and personnel. Brian’s experience working and collaborating on regional issues aligns nicely with SVFD’s philosophy and will help us continue to be a catalyst for local and regional excellence and innovation.”