As wildfire-induced haze continues, burn ban issued for Snohomish County

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A handy way to track the status of wildfires affecting our area is through the Washington Smoke Information website. An effort by county, state, and federal agencies and Indian tribes, the site coordinates and aggregates information for Washington communities affected by smoke from wildland fires.

With the wildfire smoke from British Columbia in our region, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, effective at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3.

This ban is in effect until further notice and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans.

Winds from British Columbia are moving wildfire smoke into the area, and air pollution levels have become unhealthy for sensitive groups in many parts of the Puget Sound region. The pattern is expected to continue at least through Friday and possibly longer, the agency said.

There is no outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban, including:
· No charcoal barbeques
· No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls or similar free-standing devices
· No campfires or bonfires
· No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts. The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a previously approved “No Other Adequate Source of Heat” exemption from the Clean Air Agency
· No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
· Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands are not granted from the local fire district during air quality burn bans.

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).

Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.

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