Snohomish County downgraded to Stage 1 burn ban

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The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is downgrading Snohomish County to a Stage 1 burn ban, effective at noon Friday, Jan. 2.

This ban remains in effect until further notice. The use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves.

A weak system will bring some winds and light rain midday Friday, with winds subsequently decreasing in the early evening. Late Friday night through Saturday night, the agency expects widespread stagnation throughout the region, with a risk of pollution building rapidly in areas where wood burning is common. Late Saturday night should see a new system with rain, increased winds, and good ventilation.

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 agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

  • No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, 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 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 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).

For more information, go here.

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