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Stage 1 burn ban continues for Snohomish County

Continuing cold weather and rising air pollution have prompted a Stage 2 burn ban in Pierce County, effective at 1 p.m. on January 17, 2013. A Stage 1 burn ban continues for Snohomish County. These bans are in effect until further notice.
Continuing cold weather and rising air pollution have prompted a Stage 2 burn ban in Pierce County, effective at 1 p.m. on January 17, 2013. A Stage 1 burn ban continues for Snohomish County. These bans are in effect until further notice.

From the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website.

Updated Friday, January 18, 2013.

Please rely on your home's cleaner source of heat until air quality improves.

Continuing cold weather and rising air pollution have prompted a Stage 2 burn ban in Pierce County, effective at 1 p.m. on January 17, 2013. A Stage 1 burn ban continues for Snohomish County. These bans are in effect until further notice. 

"Pollution levels in Pierce County spiked overnight and reached UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS," said Dr. Phil Swartzendruber, agency forecaster.

"We expect cold, stagnant conditions for at least the next few days so are raising the ban to Stage 2 ban to protect Pierce County communities from worsening air quality."

"With cold, calm, and clear conditions expected through the weekend, there is a potential for air quality to degrade in other parts of our jurisdiction as well,” noted Dr. Swartzendruber.

"Especially in communities where wood-burning is common. We may need to reinstate a burn ban for King County and raise Snohomish County to a Stage 2."

"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 chimneys.
  • 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.

During 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 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 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 2 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).

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