The following is a press release from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:
1/16/2018 Update: The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has lifted the Stage 2 burn ban for greater Pierce County.
1/15/2018 Original Story: Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is elevating to a Stage 2 burn ban for Greater Pierce County, effective yesterday, Jan. 14.
This ban is in effect until further notice.
Overnight, air pollution levels exceeded unhealthy for sensitive groups for several hours. The PSCAA expects current conditions (light winds, clear skies, and colder temperatures) to continue through late Tuesday.
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.
DURING A STAGE 2 BURN BAN
• No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, certified or uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. 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 the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency
• No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimneas.
• 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).
Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.