Avoid unnecessary burning
April 2, 2020 – During the COVID-19 crisis, local fire departments and first responders are doing everything they can to protect their own health so that they are ready to protect others. Many people in Washington communities are also extremely concerned about their respiratory health. So before starting an outdoor burn of any type, please consider the potential impacts on your neighbors and on local emergency responders, and postpone or cancel your burn if possible.
For information on alternatives to burning, visit ecology.wa.gov/burningalternatives. To report an illegal burn or unhealthy smoke, call 1-866-211-6284 or visit ecology.wa.gov/reportburning.
Smoke from outdoor burning, wildfires, and the use of wood stoves contributes to poor air quality that can harm your health. Consider other methods of home heating and yard waste disposal.
Smoke is harmful to your health
Smoke is made up of gases and particulate matter
that can be dangerous when inhaled. When temperature inversions
occur, this smoke can be trapped close to the ground. Visit Washington's air monitoring network
to see if air quality is healthy in your area.
Smoke can irritate your eyes and worsen chronic heart and lung disease. The amount and length of smoke exposure, as well as a person's age and degree of susceptibility, play a role in determining if someone will experience smoke-related health problems. If you are experiencing serious symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Read more about how wood smoke harms your health
When air pollution from wood smoke threatens public health, Ecology or local clean air agencies issue air quality burn bans.
People in homes that burn wood for heat have more respiratory problems. To protect your health, consider switching to natural gas or electric for home heating, or make sure you are using a Washington-certified wood burning device.
Follow the tips below to dispose of yard waste without burning and contributing to air pollution.