A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins at 4 p.m. today (Friday) in Chelan and Douglas counties due to poor air quality in the region. Restrictions on burning will continue through noon Monday (Jan. 23), when conditions will be reassessed.
Air quality is expected to worsen as winds die down over the weekend, causing smoke to accumulate in valleys, according to atmospheric scientists with the Washington Department of Ecology. Such conditions put the counties at risk for air pollution to reach unhealthy levels. 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 are prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Cleaner burning 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.