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Stage 1 air quality burn ban lifted for Snohomish, King, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties

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The burn ban is lifted in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties as of Friday, August 11, 2017. As of 2:00 pm, there are no air quality burn bans currently in effect in the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency jurisdiction.
Because of the dry weather fire safety burn bans are still in effect! Image courtesy of Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

From a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency news release.

August 11, 2017, update.

The burn ban is lifted in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties as of today, August 11, 2017. Effective 2 PM, there are no air quality burn bans currently in effect in the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency jurisdiction.

Fire safety burn bans are still in effect! Contact your county fire marshal for more information.

Smoke levels have reduced to MODERATE or GOOD in most areas now. Winds have reversed, and we expect the British Columbia wildfire smoke to blow east again for the next couple weeks. That means we return to our more typical summertime GOOD air quality.

The BC wildfires aren’t expected to stop until the fall rains come, so another high-pressure ridge could return the smoke. But thankfully, the 2-week outlook continues to keep smoke away from Puget Sound.

The fire near Darrington is contained, but still smoldering. As a result, we may still see smoke levels that are MODERATE or even UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS there when the winds come from the NE.

We will continue to monitor the conditions closely and send out updates as needed. We thank everyone for not burning not during this ban. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory health issues especially benefit from your efforts.

Original August 8, 2017, article.

With more wildfire smoke from British Columbia moving into our region, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a stage 1 air quality burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, effective at 2:00 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

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

With high pressure pushing more smoke into the Puget Sound area, we forecast levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS through Friday. We expect calm winds and smoke to settle daily. Saturday and onward, the area of high pressure should push eastward, bringing us back our more typical and cleaner air from the Pacific Ocean.

The purpose of the burn ban is to reduce any additional harm to sensitive populations from excess air pollution and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation for purposes of air quality burn bans.

Children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with heart and breathing problems should avoid physical exertion outdoors. If possible, seek clean, air-conditioned indoor air (e.g. public libraries, “cooling centers”, community and senior centers).

No burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:

  • No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
  • No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
  • No campfires or bonfires
  • No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
  • No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
  • Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

* 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

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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