Department of Ecology News Release - December 3, 2020
Updated: December 2, 2020

Stage 1 burn ban called for Okanogan Valley

Outdoor and indoor burning limited to improve air quality


A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, for the Okanogan Valley, including the communities of Riverside, Omak, Okanogan, Malott. Restrictions on burning will continue until further notice.

The Washington Department of Ecology is calling the ban because stagnant conditions are forecast in the region, putting people at risk for unhealthy levels of air pollution. 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 is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Use of cleaner-burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices is allowed.

Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke.

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.

Related links

Contact information

Andrew Wineke