Burn ban to be lifted for King and Snohomish counties, continues for greater Pierce

  • Monday, December 11, 2017 1:11pm
  • News

For the Reporter

The burn ban for King and Snohomish County will be lifted effective at 2 p.m. Monday. The State 1 burn ban for Greater Pierce County continues.

The ban is in effect until further notice.

With fog lifting throughout the region, the sun is warming the ground and breaking the high pressure system over our region, helping improve air quality in many areas. Officials expect more winds in the north part of Puget Sound tonight, specifically in King and Snohomish Counties, that will help keep air pollution below the health standards.

However, with calm weather expected to continue in Greater Pierce County, officials expect to have pollution levels unhealthy for sensitive groups tonight and into Tuesday, and possibly longer. Sunday night, pollution levels went over the EPA health-based standard in Tacoma.

The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air usually due to excessive wood smoke. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.

* Pierce County residents on the “Pierce Peninsula” (Gig Harbor Fire #5, Key Peninsula #16, Anderson Island #27) and in “South Pierce” county (Roy Fire #17, Eatonville, Ashford #23) are not included in Monday’s burn ban. Check the Pierce County Burn Ban Area Map for more specific information.

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

• No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. 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.

• The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved “No Other Adequate Source of Heat” exemption from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

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

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

• It is OK to use natural gas and propane 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).

Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the burn ban status.

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