Burn ban lifted as air quality improves

As a result of improved air quality, the burn ban has been lifted in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties as of Saturday, Aug. 5, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said.

“The Puget Sound has returned to mostly good and moderate air quality due to shifting winds bringing cleaner air at the surface (breathing level),” the agency said Saturday. “We expect this weather pattern, and good and moderate air quality, to continue through the weekend and into next week.

While the regional air quality has improved substantially, there are still some issues the agency is continuing to monitor. For example, smaller wildfires near Darrington have raised pollution levels near the definition of unhealthy for sensitive groups. Also, ozone levels in the Cascade foothills have been elevated and may reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups in the afternoon for the next several days.

“Looking ahead, significant amounts of wildfire smoke may remain in the region at higher altitudes although the surface air (breathing level) has improved substantially,” the agency said. “Haze is likely to be visible, and it possible that we may see isolated, localized pollution spikes within the next week.”

The agency said it will continue to monitor the conditions closely and send out updates as needed. Visit www.pscleanair.org/burnban to learn more.

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