West Seattle Weather Watch: Burn ban for King County

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).

5 Replies to "West Seattle Weather Watch: Burn ban for King County"

  • heylady January 11, 2012 (9:49 pm)

    No takers on the burn ban debate, huh?

  • DF January 11, 2012 (10:09 pm)

    Thing that gets me you go by alki lumber and out front is there scrap wood bin with what inside you may wonder? Treated wood. That’s right! Plywood scraps also in addition to pallets. And what do they sell? Lumber when cut which I understand is necessary but those same trees give us of the planet earth fresh air. What to do? People regularily empty that bin out too. I am guessing a lot of it gets burned.

  • environment January 12, 2012 (10:17 am)

    please educate your neighbors on wood burning (not only regarding a burn ban) Wood smoke is 12 TIMES (not twice – twelve TIMES ) more toxic than a cigarette (EPA, 1991) According to the American Lung Assoc. wood smoke particulate is so small it gets inside neighbors homes with all the doors and windows closed. Wood smoke CAUSES cancer, asthma and many health problems. You can make an online report to Puget Sound Clean Air http://www.pscleanair.org, or you can telephone them 343.8800. If you do not get remedy you can contact an attorney and get it handled through Nuisance Laws. Dept of Ecology states it is illegal for smoke to interfere with the health or enjoyment of property (that is what nuisance law is) An environmental attorney can help. Burning during a burn ban has a potential $1,000 fine. Please help us all be able to breathe: do not burn wood and stop neighbors from polluting the air (during a ban or not) In Seattle there is ALWAYS adequate sources of heat. No need for wood burning. Note: fireplace inserts that are not certified cannot be sold, traded, or used. A regular fireplace has zero filtering of smoke they are extremely extremely toxic smoke. Don’t burn in your fireplace – ever. If you are trying to keep the house warm: hang a blanket between rooms to close off a smaller area. Boil some water (higher humidity increases sense of warmth and heat) Drink hot fluids (that’s what they do in Russia) so you get warm from the inside to the outside. Wear layers of clothing. Or get one of those inexpensive (and non toxic) emergency blankets (at REI) and they hold in maximum body heat. We have an increasing number of children with asthma. Please do not pollute and please take action to keep our breathing air clean. It is basic to be able to breathe.

  • highland park asthmatic January 12, 2012 (1:14 pm)

    Is this another law that does not apply to Nickelsville? “All outdoor burning is prohibited during a burn ban, even in areas where otherwise permitted by law.” or is their fire considered a primary source of heat?

  • Mary T. January 13, 2012 (6:53 pm)

    Wow, the environment has a computer now!

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