The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency reinstated a State 1 burn ban for King County Friday afternoon, effective 4 p.m.
"This weekend we're expecting calm and cold conditions to continue throughout the region, which is why we're issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for King County," said Dr. Phil Swartzendruber, agency forecaster. "In neighborhoods where wood-burning is common, air pollution levels could easily reach the UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS category."
"We encourage everyone who doesn't rely on wood heat to use instead their home's cleaner source of heat until weather conditions change."
The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor air quality and weather conditions.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service's air stagnation advisory remains in effect until 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
- No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled.
- No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
- Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
It is OK to use natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA-certified wood 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).