Stagnant air leads officials to issue a burn ban for King County and raise the ban levels for Snohomish and Pierce counties.
With the current calm winds around Puget Sound causing stagnant weather conditions and wood smoke pushing air pollution to unhealthy levels in some areas, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a burn ban for King County and raised the ban levels for Snohomish and Pierce counties.
The bans go into effect at 1 p.m. Saturday and will be in place until air quality improves.
In King County, Level 1 burn ban means no use of wood-burning fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts — unless it has been approved as the only source of heat for a home, according to the clean air agency.
Outdoor fires are not permitted, including campfires, the use of fire pits and charcoal-fueled fires. A violation is subject to a $1,000 penalty, according to the air agency.
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In Pierce and Snohomish counties the Level 2 ban includes both certified and uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts, again, unless that is the only source of heat and has been approved by the clean air agency.
Natural gas and propane stoves are allowed.
The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit their time 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 adults over age 65, the Clean Air Agency said in a release.
More information can be found at in the “Frequently Asked Questions” tab of the burn-ban status page.