The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is lowering the air quality burn ban to a Stage 1 in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties effective at 1 p.m. Today, Tuesday. The ban remains in effect until further notice.
"Air pollution levels throughout the region have dropped, likely due to clouds and warmer temperatures," said Dr. Phil Swartzendruber, agency forecaster. "The drop in pollution could also be due to the help of our communities following the burn ban."
Dr. Swartzendruber added, "Calm, cold, and clear weather conditions are likely to continue over the next few days, so ongoing cooperation with the burn ban will help keep our air healthy."
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 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).