Outdoor and indoor burning limited to improve air quality
Submitted by Joye Redfield-Wilder
UNION GAP – A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins at 4 p.m. today (Feb. 14) in Okanogan and Kittitas counties, due to poor air quality. Restrictions on burning will continue through noon on Friday (Feb. 17), when conditions will be reassessed.
The Washington Department of Ecology is calling the ban because light winds, fog and persistent temperature inversions are likely to cause an accumulation of pollution, putting the communities at risk for air pollution to reach unhealthy levels. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs causing 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 are prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Cleaner burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.
Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke.
Up-to-date burn ban information is available at www.waburnbans.net.
Ecology’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction. Call 800-424-4372 for tribal burn ban information or visit EPA’s Washington Burn Ban page on their website.