The use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves
A Stage 1 burn ban continues for Pierce and Snohomish counties, due to cold and stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution levels, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. These bans are in effect until further notice.
A ridge of high pressure over the Puget Sound area will result in cold temperatures with little wind this evening. Air quality is expected to deteriorate in Pierce and Snohomish counties, especially in communities where residential wood burning is common. In these communities air quality could reach levels considered "unhealthy for sensitive groups."
Clean Air Agency staff follow a protocol set by state law to determine when and where to issue a burn ban, and when to lift a burn ban.
“We issue Stage 1 burn bans on the basis of weather conditions and rising pollution levels in the individual counties within our jurisdiction – when we predict these area may violate federal air quality standards,” said Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “As a result, one or more counties may have a Stage 1 burn ban in place while others have no restrictions in place – or may have advanced to a Stage 2 burn ban.”
“I’d like to thank all of those who stopped burning last week and the week before when we issued the first burn ban of the season,” added Kenworthy. “It helped reduce the amount of pollution that built up, lessening the serious health impacts faced by people sensitive to air pollution – children, the elderly, and people with lung and heart conditions.”
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
It is OK to use natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA certified wood stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.
The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).
The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation.
For more information: