Burn ban begins Jan. 1 in Eastern Washington

Stage 1 burn ban in Asotin, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Okanogan and Stevens counties

SPOKANE – Cold, stagnant weather forecasted for early next week is expected to create poor air quality conditions in Eastern Washington. In an effort to prevent unhealthy air quality, the Washington Department of Ecology is limiting indoor and outdoor burning in Asotin, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Okanogan and Stevens counties.

A Stage 1 burn ban begins at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, and will continue until further notice. Current air quality monitors show elevated levels of air pollution, and the levels are expected to increase further because of weather conditions. This puts communities at risk because fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs and cause heart and breathing problems.

Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited, including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other uncertified wood-burning devices is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.