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Stage 2 Burn Ban Remains In Effect

December 11, 2009


| TACOMA | December 11, 2009 |  Due to continuing stagnant weather conditions and elevated air pollution levels, the Stage 2 burn ban called by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties remains in effect.

According to the agency's meteorology staff, the temperature inversion that has impacted the region this week is still in place while wood burning continues in some communities.  This has created pollution levels that are unhealthy for sensitive group populations (the very young, elderly and those individuals with heart and lung ailments).

A change in the weather pattern may allow lifting of the burn ban as early as Sunday afternoon.

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, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. 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.
  • Even if your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.
  • 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.

This ban is in effect until further notice. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to determine when the burn ban can be lifted. You can check conditions and forecasts at www.pscleanair.org

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.

This is the first burn ban of the winter heating season.  A list of frequently asked questions and answers about burn bans is available on the Clean Air Agency's website

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