TACOMA – Here we go again. Stagnant weather conditions, rising air pollution has forced the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to issue stage 1 burn bans for Pierce and Snohmish counties. The ban is in effect until further notice.
The PSCAA press release has the following information that all homeowners need to know:
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.
Weather conditions contributing to the ban are cold temperatures, clear skies, and little to no wind. We expect the same conditions Sunday night, which will likely lead to higher air pollution levels again; especially in areas where wood burning is common. Agency forecasters will continue to monitor the situation closely.
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.
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).