Poor air quality can result in a burn ban

Summer is over and the chilly nights are upon us. You may be getting ready to fire up your wood stove or fireplace as you settle in for the winter. Before you do, however, take a moment to learn about temperature inversions, air quality burn bans, and how to get the most out of your fire while protecting your health.

Summer is over and the chilly nights are upon us. You may be getting ready to fire up your wood stove or fireplace as you settle in for the winter. Before you do, however, take a moment to learn about temperature inversions, air quality burn bans, and how to get the most out of your fire while protecting your health.

OLYMPIA – During the winter, a weather pattern called an inversion can trap stagnant air and unhealthy wood smoke close to the ground.

If air quality reaches unhealthy levels, an air quality burn ban may be called by your local clean air agency, Ecology, or tribes. Check for an air quality burn ban in your area at ecology.wa.gov/burnbans or waburnbans.net.

Air quality burn bans have two stages:

 Stage 1 burn ban

  • No use of uncertified wood stoves or fireplaces is allowed.
  • No outdoor burning, agricultural, or forest burning is allowed.

Stage 2 burn ban

  • No burning indoors or outdoors is allowed.

Air quality burn bans do not apply if wood is your only source of heat.

Read more on our ECOconnect blog.

About Joye Redfield-Wilder

Joye Redfield-Wilder Washington Department of Ecology Central Regional Office