A Stage 1 burn ban remains in effect until further notice for Pierce and Snohomish counties.
A high pressure system is creating cold, dry and stagnant weather conditions. Air pollution is expected to build up and could reach levels unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially in communities where wood-burning is common. The cold and stagnant conditions could persist into the week.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says the purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.
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 canceled. 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
Children, adults over age 65, and those with heart and lung problems are the most at risk during burn bans.
There are no burn bans in King or Kitsap counties.