Stage 1 burn ban for King County, but not until Christmas night

December 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 20 Comments

Just announced by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:

Due to increasingly stagnant weather conditions, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, effective at 5 p.m. on December 25, 2013. This ban remains in effect until further notice.

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. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
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.

20 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but the font in the title looks like “bum ban” to me. I clicked the headline with very different feelings than I had after I read the post.

    Comment by Valerie — 12:24 pm December 24, 2013 #

  2. Thanks – same font we’ve been using for eight years (as of yesterday!) … as a long-ago typographer/typesetter, I wish manual kerning adjustments and such things were possible, but so far as I know, there’s no code for that … Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:41 pm December 24, 2013 #

  3. I understand the need for burn bans, but really on Christmas, when so many people are having friends and family and want the added atmosphere a fire provides? Put it off until midnight.

    Comment by Twobottles — 12:51 pm December 24, 2013 #

  4. At least we can watch the yule log fire on TV. It even comes with holiday music and the crackling sound of a real fire – no heat but it is a fire for ambiance.

    Comment by elle — 1:16 pm December 24, 2013 #

  5. Sure you can put it off until midnight, but my requirement to continue breathing ah not so much. I can’t hold my breath that long.

    Comment by Gatewood — 2:12 pm December 24, 2013 #

  6. gatewood — you beat me to it. would really prefer to not end up in the ER as I’m sure the sirens would disturb some of my neighbors while they were caroling in front of an open fire.
    .
    try this on your big screen TV with a heater blowing in the direction of your guests. Maybe get a candle that smells like pine or woodsmoke.
    .
    http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/Yule-Log-With-Christmas-Melodies/5499063885429145112/58245699985/2013-Yule-Log-HD/videos

    Comment by metrognome — 3:04 pm December 24, 2013 #

  7. it surprises me that after a weekend of steady rainfall, it has taken about 24 hours for the air to go from good to burn ban. That didn’t take long at all. Fireplaces, etc. are already being overused. I think the PSCAA is already being lenient, so fires can be had on Christmas Eve, and most of Christmas Day. If you think about it, what are you really doing by the evening on Christmas Day…family is usually gone by then..and you’re just sitting around…no need for a fire…

    Comment by JanS — 4:41 pm December 24, 2013 #

  8. Lame. Totally lame. I will be burning in my fire pit right up to 5:00.

    Comment by 935 — 6:13 pm December 24, 2013 #

  9. Lame. Totally lame. I will be burning in my fire pit right up to 5:00.

    .

    Since you are being so thoughtful and considerate this Christmas Season, 935, here’s a little PDF for your reading pleasure; my gift to you:

    https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/91br023.pdf

    .

    Merry Christmas!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 6:35 pm December 24, 2013 #

  10. At least Santa won’t have to worry about bursting into flames when entering people’s houses.

    Comment by teach — 7:31 pm December 24, 2013 #

  11. I will happily observe the burn ban (no, I’m not being snarky, I’m being honest). But I will say this, my family (8 besides me) will be here at my home from 11:00 am until likely 11:00 pm or so. We’ll miss having a fire, but we’ll survive. Not a big deal, really

    Comment by Twobottles — 8:05 pm December 24, 2013 #

  12. More fear mongering from those who seem determined to keep everyone in a perpetual state of paralysis. I grew up in house where we burned wood year round in an indoor fireplace and we kids never experienced any respiratory problems. In fact, we were healthier than kids who lived in nice surroundings. Decades later I haven’t experienced any long term effects. Obey the ban, but I seriously doubt some diluted wood smoke wafting across the neighborhood is going to spark a convoy of people heading to emergency rooms.

    Comment by G — 9:17 pm December 24, 2013 #

  13. I seriously doubt some diluted wood smoke wafting across the neighborhood is going to spark a convoy of people heading to emergency rooms.
    .
    As it happens, studies conducted in Seattle have shown a significant association between particulate matter in the air and emergency room visits and hospitalizations for children with asthma. These studies have attributed anywhere from 34 to 60% of the particles in the air to residential woodsmoke. (Source: Inhalation Toxicology, 2007 Jan;19(1):67-106. Woodsmoke health effects: a review. Naeher LP, Brauer M, Lipsett M, Zelikoff JT, Simpson CD, Koenig JQ, Smith KR.)

    Comment by datamuse — 9:51 pm December 24, 2013 #

  14. I’d like to see your reference datamuse, but when I google your source I only find *wildfire* studies not residential woodsmoke. There is a significant difference. Can you post the correct URL?

    Comment by dsa — 11:12 pm December 24, 2013 #

  15. Hey this usually means calm and dry weather.

    Comment by dsa — 11:18 pm December 24, 2013 #

  16. I grew up in house where we burned wood year round in an indoor fireplace and we kids never experienced any respiratory problems. In fact, we were healthier than kids who lived in nice surroundings. Decades later I haven’t experienced any long term effects…

    .

    G, we’re all different. whether it’s genetics, or whatever. one of my chronic lung issues is COPD, commonly associated with smoking, but I’ve never smoked. Never even tried it once.

    .

    However I did grow up around smokers, cooped up in the car, and house, worked at places, sometimes a bit confined, with folks that smoked, and in my younger years when I hung out at bars more, was exposed to smoke in those places.

    .

    Any new doctor or nurse that I see, when they read my chart,and see that I have COPD, and they ask if I currently, or in the past have smoked, and I reply “No”, they’re like “WTF?”.

    .

    Some people can drink and/or smoke, and/or whatever frequently, and live to 90. Others lead a very healthy lifestyle, and die a at 40. There just doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it sometimes.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 12:21 am December 25, 2013 #

  17. Does the burn ban also apply to fireworks? Just asking because they’re already starting to go off like mortar rounds in the vicinity of the centrally located major thoroughfare that I live on. Oh wait, they’re illegal regardless of the weather so I guess that’s not a factor. This is one of several times per year that I wish every single family residence in West Seattle would be replaced by a 20 story apartment building because I think at least that would shut down the re-enactment of the invasion of Normandy that people here feel is their right on major holidays.

    Comment by Alphonse — 12:40 am December 25, 2013 #

  18. To me the bigger question is why is this winter every time ” fireplace weather” is upon us the air quality is too bad to have one. I enjoy a good fire when it is cold and hate contributing to PSE profit. ?? It helps tremendously with my arthritis too.

    Comment by Lj — 4:58 pm December 25, 2013 #

  19. Why is it this winter as soon as it is fireplace weather we get hot with a burn ban. Maybe they should get some cars off the road instead. A good fire really helps my arthritis and I hate contributing to PSE profit

    Comment by Lj — 5:01 pm December 25, 2013 #

  20. Ah yes! Because “natural” gas use is so not wasteful and pollutant in any way

    Comment by Hugo — 9:51 pm December 25, 2013 #

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