Air pollution levels continue to rise and stagnant weather conditions are expected into the week. As a result, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency on Saturday announced there is a Stage 2 burn ban in Snohomish County– upgraded from a Stage 1 ban issued earlier this week. The ban is in effect until further notice.
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.
A ridge of high pressure in the eastern Pacific is expected to bring cold evenings and poor ventilation to the Pacific Northwest for the next several days and possibly through the end of the week. This will likely result in moderate air quality through the Sound, and regions with high prevalence of wood burning will likely see unhealthy air quality.
During a Stage 2 burn ban:
• No burning is allowed in any fireplace, pellet stove or wood stove (certified or not), unless it is your only adequate source of heat.
• No visible smoke is allowed from any solid fuel burning device at any time.
• Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
• It is OK to use natural gas or propane fireplaces.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation. You can check conditions and forecasts at www.pscleanair.org/airq/aqi.aspx# The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency wants to remind people who burn wood, whether occasionally or often, that it is important to always check burn ban status before lighting a fire and to obey burn bans.