Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage 1 burn ban for Pierce County, in effect until further notice.
The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air usually due to excessive wood smoke.
A high pressure system is expected to bring mostly calm conditions through Tuesday. We'll see especially low winds in Pierce County, which means fog and a buildup of air pollution. A system should arrive late Tuesday, or early Wednesday to ventilate the region.
Burn ban enforcement has significantly increased in the Tacoma-Pierce County Smoke Reduction Zone. Wood burning during a ban may result in a fine, with fines in the past reaching $1,000. Increased enforcement and night patrols will increase the likelihood of violators receiving substantial fines this season.
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. 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.
- 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