Warm air and a shallow layer of fog in mountain valleys is trapping smoke and impairing air quality, prompting burn bans in Kittitas and Okanogan counties beginning at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016).
The Washington Department of Ecology is calling Stage 1 burn bans for both counties because air quality is likely to remain mostly stagnant over the next few days. The burn bans will continue through 10 a.m. Friday, when they could be called off or extended.
“We’re working to keep air quality from reaching unhealthy levels,” said Jay Carmony, air quality specialist. “Moderate winds at times will improve air quality, but a generally stagnant pattern is expected for the remainder of the week.”
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.