West Seattle Weather Watch: Burn ban expands to King County

No cozy fire in the fireplace today/tonight: The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has just expanded what was a Snohomish County-only burn ban into King County too. It’s a Stage 2 ban, which the agency says means:

* No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. 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.

* Even if your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.

* 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 and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

13 Replies to "West Seattle Weather Watch: Burn ban expands to King County"

  • sam December 9, 2009 (10:26 am)

    so- does that mean no bonfires on the beach for the Christmas ships? or is the burn ban in effect until we actually get some rain/ snow, which is 30% forecast for Friday.
    I’m not complaining btw, I’m just curious. I do like clean air.

  • mark December 9, 2009 (10:49 am)

    Great. I just jammed the insert with wood………

  • Jacob December 9, 2009 (11:24 am)

    “* Even if your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.”

    yeah good luck with that…

  • Alki Res. December 9, 2009 (11:48 am)

    Yeah, how do you make a fire and not have visible smoke???
    What’s the old saying… “where there is smoke there is fire”

  • KBear December 9, 2009 (11:51 am)

    Oooo… Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll just close the damper, then…

  • lynne December 9, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    Christopher covered this topic well in 07:


    And I believe the law about smoke is that it can only be visible at start up for 20 minutes but then should have a very limited opacity.

    More good stuff at: http://www.pscleanair.org/

  • marysh December 9, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    Ha, ha! : D

  • velo_nut December 9, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    Soooooo… I shouldn’t be burning all of my credit card offer mail right now in the back yard?


  • Sue December 9, 2009 (2:31 pm)

    Alki Res., I was wondering the same thing about a fire and no visible smoke. Besides, if my power goes out and I’m forced to switch to a fire, the last thing I’ll be caring about is whether there’s smoke!

  • Alki Res. December 9, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    Sue, remember the year we lost power for week!?!
    I think it was 2006… West Seattle has the highest population per square foot. (I’ve heard)
    … aren’t the most populated areas turn back on first. That week was awful… usually the power is off just long enough to mess up our clocks.

  • Charles December 9, 2009 (4:52 pm)

    The burn ban is prompted by a temperature inversion, which is often caused by rapid cooling. See this post by Cliff Mass:


    Seattle’s rugged topography aggravates the problem. The inversion itself is terraced and funnels smoke down the hill into other houses.

    This is not tree-hugging nonsense. Smoke from other people’s fireplaces entering your house is very, very bad for you.

  • Kayleigh December 9, 2009 (5:06 pm)

    Hooray for burn bans! I can actually breathe in my neighborhood today. I hate hate hate the fireplace smoke in this neighborhood,and there is a lot of it. There are days when I have to leave my windows closed in order to breathe clean air.

  • mark December 9, 2009 (5:40 pm)

    Such a bummer. Today is the first day I have turned the furnace on…sorry about the smoke Kayleigh

Sorry, comment time is over.