January 14, 2013 |

Stagnant air forces new burn ban in Snohomish County

A Stage 2 burn ban is in effect for Snohomish County to protect residents from worsening air quality and will remain in effect until further notice.

Current cold, dry and stagnant weather conditions have increased pollution levels throughout the Puget Sound, creating potentially dangerous conditions for residents with sensitivities and health conditions.

These weather conditions are expected to continue into the week. The Snohomish

County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Under a Stage 2 burn ban:

• No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home's other, cleaner sources of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home's only adequate source of heat.

• No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

• It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

• Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse.

Air pollution can be especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and adults over the age of 65.

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