Department of Ecology News Release - January 26, 2017

Stage 1 burn ban called for Methow Valley

Outdoor and indoor burning limited to improve air quality


Poor air quality is prompting a Stage 1 burn ban in communities along the Methow River Valley, including Pateros, Methow, Carlton, Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama.

The ban on outdoor burning and use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins 4 p.m. Friday (Jan. 27) and will continue through noon Monday (Jan. 30) when conditions will be reassessed.

Department of Ecology atmospheric scientists say that light winds and persistent temperature inversions are likely to cause pollution to accumulate in the valley over the weekend, putting the communities 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

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.

Contact information

Joye Redfield-Wilder
Communications manager