The dry, clear weather is great for views, but also has led to this: A “Stage 1” burn ban takes effect at 4 pm today for all of King County (among other parts of the metro area) – that means your fireplace/woodstove, too. Read on for full details from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency:
Stage 1 burn ban called for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties
The use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves
To protect residents from worsening air quality, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, effective at 4:00 p.m. January 11, 2012, until further notice.
High pressure over the Puget Sound region will bring cold temperatures and calm winds, according to Clean Air Agency forecasters. Air quality is expected to deteriorate at least through Friday, especially in communities where residential wood burning is common.
Clean Air Agency staff follow a protocol set by state law to determine when and where to issue a burn ban, and when to lift a burn ban.
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.
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).
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