The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is lifting the air quality burn ban in King County, effective 1 p.m., January 16, 2013. A Stage 1 burn ban remains in effect for Pierce, and Snohomish counties until further notice.
"We're lifting the ban in King County because air pollution levels there have improved," said Dr. Phil Swartzendruber, agency forecaster. "Based on historic patterns, it’s unlikely they’ll reach trigger levels in the next few days."
Dr. Swartzendruber added, "Pollution levels in Pierce and Snohomish counties remain MODERATE, and the forecast suggests they would worsen in the next few days without a burn ban. The Stage 1 burn ban needs to remain in place for these counties."
"Looking ahead, calm, cold, and clear weather conditions will likely continue through the weekend, so ongoing cooperation with the burn ban will help keep our air healthy," he said. "We encourage everyone who doesn’t rely on wood heat to use instead their home’s cleaner source of heat until weather conditions change."
The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the air quality and weather situation.
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.
No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
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).