Worsening air quality in Ellensburg has prompted the Washington Department of Ecology to upgrade to a Stage 2 burn ban in Kittitas County. A Stage 1 burn ban will continue in Okanogan County where air quality improvement has been marginal.
Both bans will be in place at least through 10 a.m. Sunday.
"While winds might increase some on Saturday, the overall outlook is stagnant," said atmospheric scientist Ranil Dhammapala. "We will revisit the forecast on Saturday evening."
A Stage 2 ban applies to use of all certified and uncertified wood stoves, inserts, fireplaces, pellet stoves and other wood-burning devices are unless they are a home's only adequate source of heat. Stage 2 bans also prohibit all outdoor burning.
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. Certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.
Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke. Up-to-date burn ban information is available at www.waburnbans.net.
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 on their website.