Stage 1 Burn Ban remains in effect for Pierce County

Note: the following is a released issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Due to continuing stagnant weather conditions and elevated air pollution levels, the Stage 1 burn ban for Pierce County remains in effect. This ban is in effect until further notice.

High pressure is building east of the Cascades through the weekend resulting in offshore flow and dry conditions in Puget Sound, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency forecasters.  As Pierce County is sheltered in the shadow of Mount Rainier, an area of stagnant air is expected there through the weekend and beyond.  As a result, air pollution will build and could reach levels “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.”  The National Weather Service has similarly issued an Air Stagnation Advisory for the south Puget Sound area.

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. It also includes burning yard waste and storm debris. Please take advantage of storm debris disposal options offered by Pierce Countyand the City of Tacoma.
  • 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).


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