[December 1, 2011] A Stage 1 burn ban remains in effect for Pierce and Snohomish counties, due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution levels, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. This ban is in effect until further notice.
A ridge of high pressure off the Pacific Coast continues to dominate the region. Poor ventilation and cold evening temperatures will continue. Friday morning and afternoon, increased winds and potential precipitation may bring Snohomish County temporary relief, but the air stagnation is forecasted to settle in again by evening. The stagnation could continue through early next week. Clean Air Agency forecasters are actively monitoring the situation to determine if the burn ban needs to be elevated to a Stage 2 ban or expanded to include King and/or Kitsap counties.
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
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).
This is the first air quality burn ban of the season for the Puget Sound region. The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation.