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Burn ban elevated to Stage 2 in Pierce County
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is elevating Pierce County to a Stage 2 burn ban to protect residents from worsening air quality, effective at 2:00 p.m. November 23, 2013. This ban remains in effect until further notice.
Overnight, fine particle pollution levels spiked in Pierce County, especially in neighborhoods where wood-burning is common. This, combined with a weather forecast of continued cold temperatures and low-to-no winds, triggers the more protective Stage 2 ban.
During a Stage 2 burn ban:
- No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet 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 and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 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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