Department of Ecology News Release - November 8, 2019

Stage 1 burn ban called for Asotin, Columbia, Garfield and Walla Walla counties

Outdoor and indoor burning limited to improve air quality


A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in Asotin, Columbia, Garfield and Walla Walla counties due to poor air quality in the region. Restrictions on burning will continue until further notice.

The Washington Department of Ecology is calling the ban because light winds and persistent temperature inversions have trapped air pollution in this area. Atmospheric conditions are not expected to improve over the next few days, putting people at risk for unhealthy levels of air pollution. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs causing heart and breathing problems.

Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited, including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other uncertified wood-burning devices is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Use of cleaner-burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices is allowed.

Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke.

Additional burn ban information is available at  

Ecology’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction. Call 800-424-4372 for tribal burn ban information or visit EPA’s Washington Burn Ban page.

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Andrew Wineke
Twitter: ecologywa